Tesco shoppers around Swindon and Bristol will be able to return all kinds of plastic packaging to the supermarket in a new trial to recycle 'unrecyclable' plastics.
Most local councils won't collect things like pet food pouches, crisp packets and shopping bags for recycling, so Tesco has teamed up with specialist company Recycling Technologies to stop them going to landfill – in ten of its stores, at least.
Collection bins have been set up for customers to return packaging for processing back into an oil called Plaxx, which can be used in the manufacture of new plastic. It is just a trial, but if it's rolled out across all Tesco branches it could see an estimated 65,000 tonnes of plastic being put to good use every year.
WWF UK says 'it's great to see Tesco running this innovative trial'. Its Sustainable Materials Specialist Paula Chin comments: "From our local beaches to the remote Arctic, plastic is choking our oceans and killing wildlife. Eight million tonnes are dumped into our seas every year – killing turtles, fish, whales and birds. While we can all do our bit by reducing the plastic we buy and embracing reusable items, we need producers, businesses and governments to face their responsibilities too."
The project follows another trial to reduce plastic in Tesco's produce aisles, where more fruit and veg are being sold loose. It also comes after Marks and Spencer's own trial to collect hard-to-recycle packaging.