Breadmaker Hovis has launched a bread bag recycling initiative in partnership with recycling firm TerraCycle.
The scheme, called the Bread Bag Recycling Programme, aims to create a UK-wide network of public access bread bag recycling points.
All Hovis bread bags are 100% recyclable and recently the company started rolling out clearer recycling labels on packs to encourage more people to dispose of their bread bags correctly.
However, research commissioned by Hovis suggests that a third (31%) of people continue to find recycling challenging as they are unsure of what they can recycle.
This combined with figures from Recoup which highlight the fact that only one-in-ten local authorities currently recycle bread bags.
Community groups and individual consumers are encouraged to set up locations for their communities where the public can drop off used bread bags, which can be sent, free of charge, to TerraCycle for recycling.
Nish Kankiwala, CEO of Hovis, said: ‘We’re delighted to launch this initiative with TerraCycle to improve the ease of recycling used bread bags and, as a result, cut the amount of plastic entering the waste stream.
‘Whilst all Hovis bread bags are 100% recyclable the new Bread Bag Recycling Programme will make it much easier for consumers to recycle their used bread bags by dropping them off to easily accessible public access recycling points or sending them in for free from home.
‘Given the increasing public concern and debate about the level of un-processed plastic waste, we hope this will help as part of the wider efforts to boost recycling of plastics.’
It comes as the government’s Waste and Recycling Strategy has gone out for consultation.
Views will be sought on the proposed Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme for producers of plastic, which the government estimates will raise up to a £1bn a year for recycling and disposal.