Customer support leads to Tesco fast-tracking recycling points

(Image: Malgosia Janicka, Shutterstock)

TESCO customers will now be able to return soft plastic packaging back to large stores for recycling.

The national roll-out of the return scheme was brought forward by the supermarket following ‘overwhelming’ customer support during a trial in Wales and parts of England.

Shoppers said that they liked the convenience of being able to combine recycling with their shopping trips, with 85% saying it helped them to recycle more than they ordinarily would have.

Soft plastic packaging collection points will now be available at all large Tesco stores, allowing customers to return plastic such as clear film, bread bags, crisp packets, and salad bags.

Once collected, the old soft plastic will be sent for recycling where it is washed, sorted and ‘as much of the material as possible’ will be recycled into new products and packaging.

Tesco’s director of quality, Sarah Bradbury, said, “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. 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.”

Marcus Gover, CEO of WRAP,  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. As little as six per cent of this problematic plastic is collected and recycled in the UK, despite making up nearly a quarter of all plastic packaging by weight.

“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.”