UK's largest supermarket chain trials collection and recycling of flexible plastics with Recycling Technologies / Plastic packaging-free fruit and vegetables tested
UK supermarket chain Tesco (Welwyn Garden City / UK; www.tesco.com) is trialling the collection of hard-to-recycle flexible plastics in ten of its stores in and around the Swindon and Bristol areas, to be recycled by collaborator Recycling Technologies (Swindon / UK; www.recyclingtechnologies.co.uk). In the designated stores, customers can return items such as pouches for pet food, shopping bags and crisp packets, which cannot commonly be recycled by local councils. The packaging will be processed by Recycling Technologies. The company's patented recycling process turns plastics waste into its "Plaxx" oil product, which can be used as feedstock to produce recyclate.

Recycling Technologies CEO Adrian Griffiths said, “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.” The company started a feasibility study in early 2019, looking at Swindon hosting a recycling plant capable of turning a variety of plastics waste back into oil – see Plasteurope.com of 28.01.2019.

Tesco is conducting another trial in two of its 6,600 stores, where it has stopped selling fresh fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastics wherever a loose alternative exists. The retailer’s move will see 45 packaged foods taken out of the group’s “Extra” stores in Watford and Swindon. Fresh produce will be sold loose as a part of the supermarket chain’s commitment to reduce the amount of packaging in its stores and ensure any remaining plastic “has a clear purpose and is recyclable.”

The supermarket said it is working to create a closed loop for its packaging, including eliminating hard-to-recycle materials, reducing overall packaging volumes and making it easier for customers to recycle. Tesco will be surveying shoppers in the stores to monitor the reaction to the trial and will be assessing each of the included products to see if there is an increase in food waste.

In 2018, Tesco announced plans to stop using hard-to-recycle materials as packaging by the end of 2019. The supermarket chain also said that by 2025 it would halve packaging weight, make all packaging fully recyclable and ensure all paper and board used is 100% sustainable.
08.04.2019 Plasteurope.com [242165-0]
Published on 08.04.2019

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