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  • Tesco Trials In-Store Plastic Recycling

Tesco Trials In-Store Plastic Recycling

Apr 22 2019 Read 1283 Times

British supermarket Tesco has announced it will launch a trial programme in 10 of its stores, whereby customers will be able to recycle different kinds of plastic that are not accepted by local councils. The new initiative will include such items of packaging as crisp packets, plastic shopping bags and pet food pouches, none of which are currently recyclable through standard channels.

The incentive has been launched in collaboration with Recycling Technologies, a specialist in the industry who plan to convert the waste plastic into oil or Plaxx, a synthetic material which can be used in the creation of new plastic items. If the trial is successful, it could be rolled out across all of Tesco’s 3,400 nationwide stores.

Every little helps

At present, about 83% of the packaging used in Tesco products is recyclable. However, many common items like plastic bags and crisp packets are not - or at least not via council pick-up schemes. In order to combat that, Tesco are introducing collection booths at 10 stores in and around Bristol and Swindon, where customers can drop off these hard-to-recycle materials instore.

“Reducing and recycling plastics is such an important issue for us, for customers and for the future of our planet. 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,” explaines Sarah Bradbury, Tesco’s director of quality.

“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.”

Looking to the future

If the trial is successful and is implemented across all Tesco outlets, it could see the percentage of recyclable packaging used in their products rise to 90%. That equates to around 65,000 tonnes of plastic being put to a practical use and kept away from landfills and oceans every single year, thus mitigating the damaging effects it has on marine populations across the globe.

This latest news comes off the back of announcement earlier this year that the supermarket would try to eliminate packaging for fruit and vegetables in some stores wherever possible. Meanwhile, Recycling Technologies have indicated that they wish to be part of a push towards doubling Britain’s capacity to recycle its plastic waste by 2027.

It is incentives like these which will go some way towards tackling the problems caused by our harmful addiction to plastic and its catastrophic effects on flora and fauna in the environment. Other innovative solutions, such as the unlikely combination of forensic science and artificial intelligence, are also being investigated by the scientific community and could hold the key to unlocking the conundrum of plastic pollution.

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