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Tesco recycles soft plastics into bin bags

Words by Smiley Team

A brilliant new initiative from Tesco means soft plastics will no longer be headed to landfill, as the retailer intends to recycle them into bin liners. 

Tesco has partnered with packaging manufacturer, Berry Global, and is collecting soft plastic from customers at its stores. It has “soft plastic collection points” in more than 900 stores, and has collected over 850 tonnes of soft plastic to date!

These “soft plastics” include anything from bread bags, fruit, vegetable and salad packaging. After it’s collected, it’s sent to Berry’s recycling facility in Heanor, Derbyshire.

There, it’s washed, scrubbed and dried, and the resulting material is turned into pellets, ready for manufacturing into bin liners.

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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.

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.”

The Berry Heanor facility has the capacity to recycle 20,000 tonnes of used plastic packaging every year. It features the first wash line and recycling facility in the UK that is able to recycle both flexible and rigid plastics from household and industrial waste.

Inspired to act?

RECYCLE: Take your soft plastics to a Tesco recycling point to contribute to the circular economy. 

DONATE: Support charities helping reduce single-use plastic across our country, like Less Plastic


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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