Multiple supermarket Asda yesterday (25 July) said it would stop sending waste to landfill sites by 2010. The move was unveiled as part of a wide-ranging campaign to save energy and lessen the chain’s negative impact on the environment.

The ‘zero waste to landfill’ pledge means that everything the supermarket disposes at the back of its 307 stores will be recycled, reused or composted instead of being sent to landfill.

The Wal-Mart subsidiary has also embarked on an 18-month review of its own brand packaging, with an eye to reducing the amount of household rubbish jettisoned by its shoppers once they arrive home. It has already redesigned its salad bags to reduce the thickness of the plastic by 15% and removed an unnecessary cardboard sleeve on a selection of its ready meals.

David Cheesewright, chief operating officer at Asda, said: “We’re determined to stop sending stuff from our stores to landfill sites. We also want to help our customers reduce the amount of rubbish they throw away each week… It’s a massive commitment that’s set to have a huge impact on the environment.”

Last year Asda opened four purpose-built recycling facilities at a cost of GBP32m (US$58.9m) enabling its fleet of delivery trucks to collect cardboard and plastic packaging from the back of stores.

Pressure in the UK has been mounting for food retailers and manufacturers to adopt more environmentally sound policies – with the Women’s Institute campaigning to reduce packaging and the UK’s Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs’ Food Industry Sustainability Strategy.