Tesco has launched a trial programme to collect previously unrecyclable plastics in 10 of its stores.
Customers will be able to return to trial stores everything from pet food pouches to shopping bags and crisp packets, all of which cannot commonly be recycled by local councils.
The trial is being conducted with the recycling specialist, Recycling Technologies, who will take all the packaging.
The plastics trial begins with the installation of ten collection booths at Tesco stores in and around the Swindon and Bristol areas.
Recycling Technologies has developed and patented a process to turn waste plastic back into oil, Plaxx a material which can then be used in the manufacture of new plastic.
‘Reducing and recycling plastics is such an important issue for us, for customers and for the future of our planet,’said Tesco’s director of quality, Sarah Bradbury.
‘That’s why we are working hard to reduce the amount of packaging in our stores and have committed that all remaining packaging will be recyclable by 2025.
‘Our trial with Recycling Technologies will make even more of our packaging recyclable and help us reach our target. This technology could be the final piece of the jigsaw for the UK plastic recycling industry.’
Recycling Technologies’ chief executive, Adrian Griffiths commented: ‘We are delighted to be working with Tesco to help its customers recycle more of their household plastic waste. Using our specialist feedstock recycling process we keep more plastic waste in the economy and out of landfill and our oceans.
‘This initiative with Tesco is designed to show there are solutions to recover this important material. Our goal is to double the UK’s capacity to recycle plastic waste by 2027.’
Around 83% of all Tesco’s packaging is currently recyclable. Should this soft-plastics collection be rolled out to all Tesco stores, it is estimated that it will be possible to recycle around 90% of Tesco’s own label packaging – the equivalent of 65,000 additional tonnes of plastic being put to good use every year. Tesco is working toward its commitment that all of its packaging is fully recyclable by 2025.
This follows Tesco’s announcement last week of a trial removing packaged fruit and veg wherever a loose alternative exists in two stores.
Last year, Tesco made strides towards its ambition for a closed loop packaging system, sharing its intention to stop packing products in the hardest to recycle materials by the end of 2019.