The retailer will initially test the packaging out on tomatoes and avocados and estimates it could lead to potential savings of 1.6 million packs of tomatoes and 350,000 packs of avocados each year.

If successful, it could be rolled out across 80% of the varieties of tomato the retailer currently sells. Reports suggest that initial trials further down the supply chain have already been a success.

The new packaging contains a strip that absorbs ethylene, the hormone that causes fruit to ripen and then turn mouldy – and is similar to a strip that Marks & Spencer is using in a product trial to keep its strawberries fresher.

Talking to the Guardian, Tesco’s ambient salad & avocado technologist Steve Deeble said: “The packaging is a major breakthrough in the fight to combat food waste and could save the fresh produce industry tens of millions of pounds each year.

“But it would also mean that shoppers will be able to keep fruit and vegetables for longer without feeling pressured to eat them within days of buying them.”

He went on to say that if the trials were a success Tesco “could start rolling out the packaging by Easter”.

Maxine Perella

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie