Tesco calls for national approach to recycling

Tesco has begun trialling in-store recycling machines to encourage customers to recycle plastic bottles, which pay customers for every plastic bottle returned.

Under the ‘Reverse Vending Scheme’, the trial will take place at selected branches of the supermarket chain, in Borehamwood, Swansea, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham. The first machine opened in Borehamwood a week ago (Thursday September 27) and pays 10p for bottles returned. The trials are limited to 10 bottles per customer, per day, and up to 750ml bottles can be deposited.

In addition, customers are now able to reuse their own plastic containers when they buy meat, cheese or fish from deli and fish counters in over 700 stores.

Customers can only use multi-use plastic sealable containers (no glass, metal or cardboard containers are accepted) and need to bring separate containers for raw and ready-to-eat cooked products. Instead of using single-use plastic bags, products will be weighed and wrapped in 100% recyclable and biodegradable paper, then placed inside the customer’s container with the price label placed on the paper.

Earlier this year Tesco announced its intention to simplify the number of materials it used in packaging to help improve the ease and rate of recyclability. It also highlighted the challenges of having different collection schemes in different local authority areas, making it costly and confusing for customers to recycle.

Tesco UK and ROI ceo Jason Tarry said: “We are already committed to eliminating single-use plastic wherever we can and make recycling simpler for customers. This is another step in that direction

“However, we know that it is going to take retailers, manufacturers and government to work together to make progress. We would urge the government to move to a single, nationwide approach to waste collection that makes it much easier for people to recycle.”

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