CPET Food Container

Retailers Join Forces To Recycle Plastic Trays

Whats on this page?

A market trial is being launched by a consortium of UK packaging, retail and recycling organisations, including Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer. The trial intends to recycle up to 1.3 billion black CPET food trays; which are most commonly used for ready meals.

Plastic recycling centres have the ability to recycle the trays, but they are currently undetectable because of the black colouring. This means that the Infra-Red sorting technology struggles to separate the trays and move them further along for reprocessing.
WRAP, the Waste and Resources Action Programme, have worked hard with experts to develop an innovative type of CPET tray. Claire Shrewsbury, WRAP’s packaging programme area manager said “it is great to see cross-sector engagement that allows us to trial its effectiveness in the real world”. The new plastic type contains an altered type of colourant that is finally detectable in the sorting process. With CPET trays likely to be sorted, they will be able to avoid ending up in landfill or being incinerated for energy.
Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer are both preparing to launch a trial of the new improvements in August, with two million trays ready to enter supermarkets. Both businesses are keen to reduce their carbon footprint and improve sorting efficiency of their products post-consumption.

CPET Food Container
CPET Food Container

Words from the inside

The proposal is a huge step forward, and an area of plastic recycling that has been calling out for a solution for some time. In June, the chief executive for Marks & Spencer, Marc Bolland, speaking at an M&S conference said:

“We don’t want a competitive edge when it comes to being a sustainable business … This is a joint journey we all need to be on-board with, so we are happy to work and collaborate with other companies.”

Following this, the commercial and environmental packaging manager for Marks and Spencer, Andrew Speck said:

“This trial highlights what can be achieved when all the relevant companies and bodies work together – all of us on the project team anticipate this will lead to a significant step forward for plastic recycling and progress for closed loop systems. We look forward to sharing the findings of the trial in the near future.”

He continued, adding

“Around 1.3 billion CPET trays are used in the UK every year and, whilst they offer great convenience for consumers, the recycling challenge results in unnecessary waste and technically recyclable material being missed. At M&S, we recognise that we have a very important role to play in resolving this, both by ensuring that we use packaging that is easy for our customers to recycle and by working across industries to find a viable solution.”

This is great news for the recycling world, especially as CPET trays are so commonly used. With many plastics having a low melting point, CPET’s high melting point allows it to be used in both microwaves and ovens. Now it can be used in recycling centres too!

Related Post
Popular posts

What Is A PET Bottle PET stands for Polyethylene terephthalate, a type of plastic that is used to make plastic

What Is A Sustainable Product & The Benefits A sustainable product is a product that uses resources in an efficient

The History Of The Cardboard Invention Nowadays we see cardboard everywhere. Whether that be packaging deliveries, containing our food or

Book a Collection Today!

Contact us today to recycle more plastic waste for your business.

Plastic Recycling Collected


Fill out the form below to receive a quote. We will get back to you shortly.
Contact Information
Waste Information