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LEEDS, England -- ASDA Group PLC, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s U.K. subsidiary, said it plans to use packaging made from natural materials in a bid to reduce costs and appeal to consumers with environmental concerns.
The retailer will replace its environmentally harmful plastic trays, ready-meals boxes, and wraps with biodegradable materials made mostly from starch, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
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Ian Bowles, ASDA's head of corporate social responsibility, was quoted as saying that consumers won't want to buy organic produce wrapped in polyethylene plastic.
Wal-Mart is also testing biodegradable packaging, although the practice is still untried on such a large scale, according to the report.
The move might appease regulatory groups, as the European Union and the U.K. government have said they hope to recycle 23 percent of all plastics.