Tesco have announced that they introduced new soft plastic recycling points in their large stores to help combat plastic waste.
The Manchester Evening News reports that the new points will allow customers to recycle previously unrecycled soft plastic in 171 of the chains large stores.
Tesco wrote to their shoppers on Facebook writing: “”To help tackle the impact of plastic waste, we’ve introduced soft plastic recycling points in all of our large stores. Which means you can recycle all of your soft plastic packaging, including crisp packets and salad bags, in-store! #EveryLittleHelps.”
The recycling points will be the first of their kind in the UK as most soft plastic is not currently recycled by councils and ends up in landfills.
The announcement comes after more and more stores are implementing more sustainable approaches to shopping and business practices.
Being sustainable is also becoming more important for shoppers and this latest announcement seems to have gone down well with many of Tesco’s customers who have began using the points.
One shopper wrote: “I’m really happy that Tesco are doing this. I’ve been several times to drop off soft plastics and hardly have to throw anything out now.”
Another shopper wrote: “Took three bags of packaging to Broughton store today. Was great to see the collection point quite full too.”
The national roll-out of the points follows a successful trial that received an overwhelming amount of customer support, where close to a tonne of plastic was collected a day.
Customers also said that the points helped make recycling easier and more convenient, as they could recycle while doing their grocery shop.
The most common items to be returned during the trial were:
- Bread bags
- Fruit and vegetable packaging
- Crisp packets
- Salad bags
- Baby and pet food pouches
Once collected by Tesco, the old soft plastic is sent for recycling where it is washed, sorted and as much of the material as possible is recycled into new products and packaging.
Tesco’s Director of Quality, Sarah Bradbury, said: “It is an absolute priority to remove and reduce as much plastic as possible and ensure everything we use is recycled and kept out of the environment. Where plastic serves an important purpose such as reducing food waste, these new recycling points make sure that every piece can be easily recycled. Trials have shown they are popular with customers, so we believe rolling them out at scale will have a real impact.
Paula Chin, WWF Sustainable Materials Specialist said: “Plastic pollution is one of the most visible symptoms of the environmental crisis and is devastating our natural world. Businesses, governments and households have all got an important part to play in tackling the issue, so it’s encouraging to see Tesco extending their successful soft plastics collection trial across more of their stores, giving their customers even more opportunity to recycle these valuable materials.”
The new points will be rolled out into 171 large stores across the UK and you can find your local branch by using the store finder.