Vac-pack mince: Another supermarket makes controversial change to packaging after Sainsbury’s complaints
Co-op has followed Sainsbury’s in introducing new vacuum packaging for its beef mince products. The major change will be rolled out in stores from this week.
The retailer said the move would help save 138 tonnes of plastic waste each year. The vac-pack packaging format will start to appear this week and after a staggered rollout will eventually be sold at all Co-op stores.
The packaging changes will also affect beef mince sold in Nisa shops. A spokesperson for the Co-op told the Mirror: “We are pleased to introduce new recyclable vacuum packaging on our 100% British mince, which ensures great quality British meat, increases shelf life to help minimise food waste, and helps save over 138 tonnes of plastic each year.”
Shoppers will be able to recycle the new packaging at in-store recycling points within Co-op and other major supermarket stores. Co-op is aiming to have the packaging widely recyclable by the end of 2023.
The move to the vac-pack was first introduced by Sainsbury’s in February. It became the first supermarket in the UK to vacuum pack its mince to become more sustainable and reduce their plastic waste.
The supermarket chain said the new packaging uses 55 per cent less plastic than the traditional plastic tray covered with film. But it has since attracted negative feedback from some customers on social media, who described the appearance of the new products as “meat grown in a lab”.
Other have claimed the packaging turns the meat turn to “mush” and there have even be calls for Sainsbury’s to reverse the decision. But Sainsbury’s has defended the move and said it was “committed” to making “bold changes” for its customers and the environment.
Richard Crampton, director of fresh food at Sainsbury’s, said: “This small change makes a big difference, more than halving the plastic used in our beef mince range and also reducing food waste. We are always listening to feedback and can see lots of our customers are already getting used to the change.”
A total of 11 Co-op products will be affected by the packaging change. They include:
- Co-op 5% Fat British Lean Beef Steak Mince 500G
- Co-op 5% Fat Scottish Lean Beef Steak Mince 500G
- Co-op British Beef Mince 12% Fat 450G
- Co-op Honest Value British 20% Fat Beef Mince 500G
- Co-op Irresistible Aberdeen Angus Fresh Minced Beef 500G
- Co-op Irresistible Hereford 5% Fat Mince 450G
- Co-op Irresistible Hereford Beef Mince 500G
- Co-op Scottish Beef Mince 12% Fat 450G
- Co-op Welsh 5% Fat Beef Mince 500G
- Co-op Welsh Beef Mince 12% Fat 450G
- Co-op 20% Fat British Lean Beef Steak Mince (Nisa wholesale only)