Tesco To Start Recycling Bread Bags And Crisp Packets

Tesco has developed a new plan to reach the green goals by rolling out collection points in the South West of England and in Wales. The collection points provide customers the opportunity to recycle their soft plastics, i.e. crisp packets, pet food pouches, and bread bags at Tesco stores. The recycled materials will then be used to package food, household, and beauty products. The collection points aren’t exclusive to Tesco products as customers can bring soft plastic packaging from other retailers, however they will need to clean items that are heavily soiled and take them back to participating stores, while the rest of their recycling is collected.

What Prompted The Scheme?

Tesco said it is still prioritising reducing their use of plastic packaging but this new service will create a “real impact” in reducing their contribution to plastic waste. Currently, most soft plastics end up in landfills, so providing customers accessible collection points to recycle their soft plastic waste will help combat the excess waste. During a 10-store trial in 2018, Tesco said the most commonly returned packaging was bread bags, fruit and vegetable packaging, crisp packets, salad bags, and baby and pet food pouches. This trial showed us the type of soft packaging we can expect to collect but it also shows how willing customers are to participate in this new scheme.

Benefits Of Recycling Soft Plastics

It takes hundreds of years to decompose plastic items in landfills. Landfill waste disrupts our environment through pollution and increases the amount of greenhouse gases which ultimately contributes to the global warming crisis. Tesco’s new scheme helps reduce the amount of soft plastic that contributes to this problem as they’ve said they expect to collect 1,000 tonnes of soft plastic a year. Although this does not completely reduce the amount of waste supermarkets contribute, one estimate suggests UK supermarkets produce 800,000 tonnes of plastic every year (figures aren’t made publicly available by them), it is still a good step to a greener future.
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