TESCO is set to purge plastic from its stores by the end of 2020.

The supermarket giant plans to cut a billion pieces of packaging in a bid to remove non-recyclable materials.

Items set to go include:

• Small plastic bags, commonly used to pack loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items, replacing them with paper ones.

• Plastic trays from ready meals.

• Secondary lids on products such as cream, yoghurts and cereals.

• Sporks and straws from snack pots and drinks cartons.

• 200m pieces of plastic used to pack clothing and greetings cards.

Shops in Greater Manchester will see the changes next year.

David Ford, Tesco communications manager, said, “Our customers will really welcome this. I’d like to thank every one of them who has shared examples of ways they feel we can cut plastic in our Manchester stores– these conversations are making a real difference and they’ll continue to do so, as we look for more ways to remove, reduce, reuse and recycle packaging, to protect our environment.”

Tesco has already stopped offering carrier bags with online deliveries – a decision which will stop 250 million bags being produced every year.