Sainsbury’s has made another change to its meat packaging, months after a move branded “disgusting” by customers.

The supermarket giant has announced it is removing plastic trays from its steak range, replacing them with a cardboard alternative.

The change, which will affect ten products across the range, will use 70% less plastic and will be in all stores and online from today.

The new trays can be recycled at home by rinsing the cardboard before placing it in a kerbside recycling bin.

South Wales Argus: The change to Sainsbury's steak packaging will use 70% less plasticThe change to Sainsbury's steak packaging will use 70% less plastic (Image: Sainsbury's)

Claire Hughes, Director of Product and Innovation at Sainsbury’s, said: “As part of our Plan for Better commitments, we are trying to reduce plastic packaging across our own brand ranges, as we know that reducing plastic is important to our customers but also on our environmental impact.

“It’s why we are always looking at ways to innovate our packaging and reduce or replace plastic wherever we can, as quickly as we can.

“We’re pleased to save another 10 million pieces of plastic a year by swapping our by Sainsbury’s steak trays to cardboard following the changes we have already made on So Organic and Taste the Difference packaging.

“While we are making good progress, we know there is more to do and we are committed to making bold changes that help us achieve our plastic reduction targets.”

It comes after Sainsbury’s made a controversial change to their mince packaging in April, becoming the first supermarket to vacuum pack its beef, saving 450 tonnes of plastic a year.


The change angered some customers who described the new mince as “disgusting” and “unappetising”.

Vicki Cole, from Huddersfield, told the BBC she was offered a refund in Nectar points after she complained the mince took her 40 minutes to cook, meaning it was tougher and chewier than before.

She said: “They’ve sucked all the air out and squashed it so it plopped out of the packet and into the frying pan in a big rectangular clump.

“As I started breaking it up with the wooden spatula it was staying in big balls that were cooking on the outside but not the inside.

“I get that we need to use less plastic. But unless they find an alternative that’s going to work they’re going to lose customers because I shan’t be buying it from there. They need to listen to the feedback.”

Another Sainsbury’s shopper tweeted that he was “not a fan of the new Sainsbury’s beef mince packaging,” adding: “Feels very medical – like I’ve just bought someone’s kidney to cook at home.”

Other online reviews read: “The new packaging is awful, it turns the mince into mush.

“It’s very hard to cook and smells off, looks very unappetising. Would not recommend.”

Richard Crampton, director of fresh food at Sainsbury’s, said: “We know customers expect us to reduce plastic packaging and we are committed to making bold changes for our customers and the environment.

“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.”