THE Tesco Extra in Swindon is removing plastic wrapping from some of the fruit and vegetable sold at the supermarket for one month.

The Ocotal Way store is one of only two in England to be part of a trial to cut down on packaging waste by selling loose alternatives to 45 different wrapped products including apples, onions, mushrooms, peppers, bananas and avocados.

Helen Harris from Extinction Rebellion praised the scheme. She said: "We are so pleased that Tesco are doing this, it's a great first step towards removing plastic packaging entirely or making all packaging 100 per cent recyclable. It's something we have to do, it's not a choice for us any more, we have to understand the damage this is causing to our environment, a lot of plastic just gets dumped and left to damage habitats and kill animals. There is a real desire for this to change and for zero waste shops like the one being set up by Swindon Climate Action Network..

"Hopefully Tesco will share the knowledge and expertise behind this trial so that other supermarkets can get their act together and take this on too. Top marks to Tesco for doing this, I hope it's rolled out nationwide."

A Tesco Extra in Watford is the other branch trialling the plastic-free fruit and veg.

This comes as a part of Tesco’s commitments to reduce the amount of packaging in its stores and ensure any remaining plastic has a clear purpose and is recyclable. The supermarket is working to create a closed loop for its packaging, including eliminating hard-to-recycle materials, reducing overall packaging volumes and making it easier for customers to recycle.

The retailer will be surveying shoppers in the stores to help understand the reaction to the trial. It will also be closely monitoring each of the included products to see if there is an increase in food waste.Tesco announced last year that it would ban hard-to-recycle plastic packaging by 2019 and has also committed to making all packaging fully recyclable, halving packaging weight and ensuring that all paper and cardboard used with its products is 100 per cent sustainable by 2025.

The supermarket’s director of quality Sarah Bradbury said, “We want to remove as much plastic as we can from our products, only using what is necessary to protect and preserve our food. We hope this trial proves popular with customers. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the results, including any impact on food waste. Whatever happens, we’re going to keep reducing the amount of packaging we use and ensure everything on our shelves is fully recyclable.”