Tesco, the largest grocer in the UK, is to trial a programme covering collection of difficult-to-sort and otherwise unrecyclable plastics.
The collected plastics will be forwarded to Recycling Technologies. Based in Swindon, Wiltshire, the company specialises in chemical plastics recycling.
The Welwyn Garden City-based supermarket chain will install collection points at 10 of its stores in Swindon and Bristol.
Customers will be able to return any type of plastic, ranging from films used in pet food pouches and crisp packets, through to any plastic bags. These products are not commonly recycled by local councils.
Sarah Bradbury, director of quality for Tesco, said: “Our trial with Recycling Technologies will make even more of our packaging recyclable and help us reach our [recycling] target. This technology could be the final piece of the jigsaw for the UK plastic recycling industry.”
Recycling Technologies will process the plastics using a patented process which ultimately delivers the Plaxx product. Grades of this oil can be used to produce virgin polymer products.
Adrian Griffiths, chief executive at Recycling Technologies, said: “We are delighted to be working with Tesco to help its customers recycle more of their household plastic waste. Using our specialist feedstock recycling process, we keep more plastic waste in the economy and out of landfill and our oceans. 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 trial is part of Tesco’s efforts to make all of its packaging fully recyclable by 2025. According to Tesco, 83% of the supermarket’s packaging is currently recyclable.
Should this collection trial be rolled out across all store locations, it is estimated that 90% of Tesco’s own-label packaging would be recycled. This translates to approximately 65,000 tonnes of plastic per year.