United Kingdom – Supermarket Tesco expects to collect and recycle 1000 tonnes of soft plastic a year, the equivalent of 150 million standard loaf bags.
Tesco has begun rolling out soft plastic recycling points to 171 stores in the South West of England and Wales. With plans to roll out to all large stores nationwide. This will be the first time that the UK has had a network of collection points of this size dedicated to the collection of soft plastic. Most councils don’t collect soft plastic from homes for recycling and it therefore often goes to landfill.
The collection points will enable customers to return all their previously unrecycled soft plastic, regardless of where they bought it, including cling film, pet food pouches and crisp packets to recycling points at their local store, rather than having to throw it away.
Once collected, the old soft plastic is sent for recycling where it is washed, sorted and processed before being turned into new packaging. It will be used into pack items such as food, household and beauty products.
The roll out follows an successful 10-store trial where customers responded positively, returning more than 10 times the expected amount of plastic. The material has already been used to produce food-grade packaging for a selection of Tesco cheeses.