Tesco rolls out ‘soft plastic’ recycling points for bread bags, pet food pouches and crisp packets to all larger stores
- The supermarket has made the move after a successful trial of recycling points
- Tesco said 85% of customers at trial stores said it helped them recycle more
- Once collected old soft plastic is sent for recycling to become new products
Tesco has announced a new recycling scheme will be rolled out across all larger stores, allowing shoppers to bring back soft plastic packaging.
The supermarket has made the move after a successful trial of recycling points across 171 stores allowing customers to recycle plastic including bread, salad and vegetable bags, crisp packets and sweet wrappers.
Tesco said 85% of customers at trial stores in Wales and south west England said it helped them recycle more than they would otherwise have done, and shoppers also liked the convenience of combining recycling with their shop.
Soft plastic packaging such as the clear film to wrap meat and fish, crisp packets and fruit and veg bags is not commonly collected by local councils from homes for recycling so it usually goes in the waste bin
Once collected by Tesco, the old soft plastic is sent for recycling, where it is washed, sorted and as much material as possible is recycled into new products and packaging.
The retailer said that in a recent sampling it was able to recover more than 80% of the plastic returned by customers, and is now working with recyclers to see what can be done with the remaining 20% which is sent for incineration to generate energy.
Soft plastic packaging such as the clear film to wrap meat and fish, crisp packets and fruit and veg bags is not commonly collected by local councils from homes for recycling so it usually goes in the waste bin.
The retailer hopes the roll-out of collection points will allow it to collect and recycle 1,000 tonnes of plastic a year.
Tesco’s director of quality, Sarah Bradbury, said: “We’re tackling the impact of plastics by removing and reducing it as much as possible, helping customers move to reusable alternatives, and ensuring they can recycle everything that’s left.
“I’m delighted that we’re rolling out collection points to the whole of the country so even more customers can help us stop plastic from going to waste.”
Marcus Gover, chief executive of sustainable resource use charity, Wrap, said: “As little as 6% of this problematic plastic is collected and recycled in the UK, despite making up nearly a quarter of all plastic packaging by weight.
“By offering shoppers a simple and consistent collections system Tesco is helping to ensure that much more of this problem plastic is captured and goes on to be recycled.”
The company said it is expected to make 2.8 million Heinz for Baby fruit pouches easily recyclable and save nearly 20 tonnes of plastic going to landfill a year
In a separate move, Heinz has launched what it says is the UK’s first easily recyclable baby food pouch which can be disposed of in regular kerbside recycling collections.
The food pouches, launched following collaboration with Tesco’s technical team and recycling charity, Recoup, are made entirely from polypropylene, a fully recyclable material, and will be rolled out across all six of Heinz’s fruit pouch varieties in 2022.
The company said it is expected to make 2.8 million Heinz for Baby fruit pouches easily recyclable and save nearly 20 tonnes of plastic going to landfill a year.
Jojo de Noronha, president northern Europe at Kraft Heinz, said: “We’re very proud to be the first name in baby food to announce the UK’s first kerbside recyclable pouch and help families be more sustainable, because we know this is very important to them.”
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