A new recycling partnership between Tesco and packaging manufacturer Berry Global is to transform soft plastic from fruit and vegetable packaging into bin liners. Tesco has expanded its number of soft plastic collection points and now collects plastic from customers for recycling in over 900 stores. The retailer has collected over 850 tons of soft plastic to date and is working with partners on several recycling solutions.
Some 25 to 30 tons of soft plastic are collected each month, including bread bags and fruit, vegetable and salad packaging, before being sent to Berry’ Global’s recycling facility in Heanor, Derbyshire. There it is washed, scrubbed and dried, during which any unwanted items are removed. The resulting material is then turned into pellets, ready for manufacturing into bin liners that Tesco sells in its stores.
Berry Global said that there is “full traceability” of the collected soft plastic through the supply chain to ensure it is a circular project. To give the bin liners the required strength and durability, the Tesco recycled plastic pellet is blended with recovered agricultural films, such as baling wrap.
Tesco’s sustainability packaging manager, William Guest, said: “Our soft plastic collection points help to plug the gap in the country’s recycling infrastructure, and when combined with initiatives like this, we meet our customers’ ask that materials do not go to waste.”