Tesco expands soft plastic collection to all large stores

Tesco has rolled out soft plastic collection points at all its larger stores. 

With the new initiative, the Big 4 grocer expects to recycle an estimated 1000 tonnes of plastic per year. 

The move follows a trial earlier this year across 171 Tesco locations, with the supermarket reporting an 80 per cent recovery rate for all plastics collected.  

The trial has seen a variety of soft plastic items returned to stores, which includes crisp packets, salad bags, fruit and vegetable packaging and bread bags.  

According to the retailer, 85 per cent of participating customers said that the initiative helped them recycle more than they otherwise would have.  

The grocer intends to keep all soft plastic out of landfill and will be directing the material between packaging producers, suppliers and recyclers, once washed and sorted to maximise recycling. 

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“We’re tackling the impact of plastics by removing and reducing it as much as possible, helping customers move to reusable alternatives, and ensuring they can recycle everything that’s left”, Tesco director of quality Sarah Bradbury said.  

“I’m delighted that we’re rolling out collection points to the whole of the country so even more customers can help us stop plastic from going to waste.” 

The project is part of the retailer’s commitment to cut down on plastic waste though its partnership with Loop, which has seen the supermarket remove 2000 tonnes of plastic from its production per year.  

WRAP chief executive Marcus Gover added: “Tackling plastic bags and wrapping is the UK Plastics Pact’s number one priority and increasing front of store collection points is a great step forward. 

“By offering shoppers a simple and consistent collections system, Tesco is helping to ensure that much more of this problem plastic is captured and goes on to be recycled. 

“I welcome this move which will help considerably towards the UK Plastics Pact’s target of increasing plastic recycling.”  

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