Soft plastics collected at Tesco to become bin liners in new recycling solution

A new partnership between Tesco and packaging manufacturer, Berry Global is now recycling soft plastic collected from customers at Tesco stores.

Tesco has rapidly scaled up the amount of soft plastic collection points and now collects plastic from customers for recycling in over 900 stores. It has collected over 850 tonnes of soft plastic to date and is working with partners on several recycling solutions.

25 to 30 tonnes per month of collected material, including bread bags, fruit, vegetable and salad packaging, is currently being sent to Berry’s state of the art recycling facility in Heanor, Derbyshire.

There it is washed, scrubbed and dried, during which processes any unwanted items are removed. The resulting material is then turned into pellets, ready for manufacturing into bin liners.

To ensure it is a circular project, Tesco and Berry have worked together in partnership so that there is full traceability of the collected soft plastics through the supply chain.

To ensure the liners have suitable strength, the Tesco recycled plastic pellet is blended with recovered agricultural films, such as baling wrap. The combination of the two recycled material sources gives the refuse sacks the required strength and durability, with a high resistance to tearing.

William Guest, Tesco Sustainability Packaging Manager, commented: “After doing everything possible to remove and reduce plastic from our stores, 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, Berry bpi commented: “Our collaboration with Tesco demonstrates how traditionally hard to recycle plastics can now be sustainably converted and remanufactured into new products in the UK. We are delighted to be supporting this Tesco initiative which helps to keep valuable used plastic film out of the waste stream.”

Tesco 20 Extra Strong Refuse Sacks 75L made from 20% recycled soft plastic are available in-store today for £3 a pack.

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