Lidl has revealed plans to alter its packaging on some meat products, following supermarkets like Sainsbury’s in the changes which shoppers have previously branded “disgusting” and “unappetising”.

Lidl GB has revealed plans to introduce new vacuum-packed, recyclable packaging across its beef mince range, resulting in a plastic reduction of almost two thirds (63%).

The smaller packs provide a valuable space saving, which will also result in up to 350 delivery trucks being taken off the road per year.

The supermarket chain claims the move will save 250 tonnes of plastic a year, with the new packaging also providing double the current shelf life, halving beef mince food waste in store.

Impartial Reporter: The changes to mince beef packaging will save 250 tonnes of plastic a year, Lidl sayThe changes to mince beef packaging will save 250 tonnes of plastic a year, Lidl say (Image: Getty/Natassima)

Shyam Unarket, Lidl GB’s Head of Responsible Sourcing & Ethical Trade, said: “Plastic reduction is a huge priority for us, and this one change will reduce the amount of plastic in each pack by a whopping two thirds, culminating in the elimination of over 250 tonnes of plastic from packaging a year.

“However, we also recognise the important role that plastic plays in our daily lives. That’s why it’s hugely important that our plastic reduction strategy is centred around a progressive circular programme.

“By ensuring that any new packaging is recyclable, we’ll be able to help prevent plastic pollution in our environment.

“When the new packaging arrives in store early next year, we know that the huge benefits both from a sustainability and practical perspective, will be welcomed by our customers.”

A similar change to packaging was made by Sainsbury’s in April, angering some customers who described the new mince as “disgusting” and “unappetising”.

Impartial Reporter: The change to meat packaging at Sainsbury's was branded unappetising and disgusting by customersThe change to meat packaging at Sainsbury's was branded unappetising and disgusting by customers (Image: PA)

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.”