Marks and Spencer takes back plastic – and turns it into playgrounds

Marks and Spencer recycling bin

Marks and Spencer has installed new bins in eight stores, where shoppers can deposit plastic packaging for recycling into new things like school playground equipment and furniture.

The veteran retailer says it's welcoming 'non-recyclable' plastics like those pesky black ready meal trays, sauce sachets, crisp packets and some cosmetics packaging – which of course are recyclable but most local councils send them to landfill.

"Customers often don't know how best to recycle certain types of plastic or where it goes after being collected by local councils," points out Laura Fernandez, Senior Packaging Technologist at M&S. "We're on a mission to provide a greater awareness of landfill avoidance and plastic recyclability, while ultimately helping our customers to give plastic a new purpose and support a truly circular economy."

The recycling bins have been installed in M&S's Food and Beauty Halls in Tolworth, Cribbs Causeway, Westfield Stratford, Waterside, Loughton, Bluewater, Fosse Park and Peterborough, with a nationwide roll-out planned by the end of the year. Rather neatly, the forthcoming bins will be made from recycled plastic collected from the first eight stores taking part in the trial.

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