Electricals retail group Dixons Carphone has announced several sustainability initiatives today, including an expanded polystyrene recycling scheme covering all Currys PC World stores.
Consumers can use the polystyrene recycling scheme for free, with the retail group acknowledging it is a difficult-to-recycle material and rarely included in curbside pick-up services.
The move comes after what Dixons Carphone said was a successful trial in 14 stores over a six-week period this summer. To begin with, stores will only accept expanded polystyrene associated with TV packaging, but the retailer will look to collect different types of packaging made from the material as consumer demand and uptake increases.
Currys PC World will look to reuse the polystyrene where possible, or recycle it. The retailer said because polystyrene is made from petroleum, launching this service will put less pressure on limited resources.
This new polystyrene recycling in-store scheme complements the retailer’s existing home delivery recycling service which has allowed customers to hand back their packaging to delivery drivers for over a decade.
The retailer claimed it currently recycles over a tenth of all consumer product packing polystyrene in the UK and, working with De Vries and DHL’s environmental arm it turns compacted expanded polystyrene into insulation panels for housing.
Chris Brown, senior sustainability operations & compliance manager at Dixons Carphone, said: “We’re proud to be the first retailer to enable customers to drop off their TV packaging in stores for recycling.
“Now customers can have their polystyrene taken away at delivery or drop it off at one of our stores. Whatever they choose we’ll take it off their hands and ensure we reuse or recycle it in a responsible way – helping customers do their bit for the planet.”
Dixons Carphone also announced today that it intends to make 100% of its own label products packaging reusable or recyclable by 2023.
It has also created a document, Product Packaging Guidance for the Retail Sector, which outlines to suppliers and other retailers preferred materials to use and which materials to avoid. The company reviewed data from sources including Wrap, the British Plastics Confederation, Government Recycling regulations, and the UK Plastic Pact.
Moira Thomas, group director of sustainability and ESG at Dixons Carphone, commented: “We recognise the pressing need to improve our use of resources.
“This EPS recycling scheme and our intention to make 100% of our own label plastic packaging reusable or recyclable by 2023 is a great example of the innovative work we do to reduce our impact on the environment.”
She added: “We are also pleased to share that work with our suppliers and other retailers in our Product Packaging Guidance as we all work together to reduce the energy and resources used by our industry’s operations and become more sustainable.”
[Image credit: Dixons Carphone]