The UK’s largest retailer, Tesco, has announced that the packaging collected through its soft plastic recycling scheme is being turned into bin liners and then being resold in its stores.
Via a partnership with Berry Global, the grocery chain is manufacturing these new items out of the waste collected though soft plastic recycling points located within its supermarkets.
Some 900 Tesco shops across the UK now offering customers soft plastic recycling opportunities.
Once collected, the bread bags, fruit, vegetable and salad packaging, and other plastic is sent to Berry’s recycling facility in Heanor, Derbyshire. According to Tesco, it is then washed, scrubbed and dried, during which any unwanted items are removed. The resulting material is then turned into pellets, ready for manufacturing into bin liners.
Tesco said it has collected 850 tonnes of soft plastic to date since starting the initiative. Other supermarkets run their own soft plastic recycling schemes.
Tesco said to ensure the liners have suitable strength, the recycled plastic pellets are blended with recovered agricultural films, such as baling wrap. The combination of the two recycled material sources reportedly gives the refuse sacks the required strength and durability, with a high resistance to tearing.
William Guest, Tesco sustainability packaging manager, said: “We want to ensure that materials are recycled into new products and packaging.
“Our soft plastic collection points help to plug the gap in the country’s recycling infrastructure, and when combined with initiatives like this, we meet our customers’ ask that materials do not go to waste.”
Mike Baxter, external affairs director at Berry, added: “Our collaboration with Tesco demonstrates how traditionally hard to recycle plastics can now be sustainably converted and remanufactured into new products in the UK.”
The resulting product is the Tesco 20 Extra Strong Refuse Sacks 75L, which the retailer markets as 20% recycled soft plastic and has made available to buy from its store estate.
[Image credit: Tesco]