A new partnership between Tesco and packaging manufacturer Berry Global is now recycling soft plastic collected from customers at Tesco stores.
Tesco has rapidly scaled up the amount of soft plastic collection points and now collects plastic from customers for recycling in over 900 stores. It has collected over 850 tonnes of soft plastic to date and is working with partners on several recycling solutions, including Berry, who is ‘delighted’ to be supporting this Tesco initiative, said Mike Baxter, external affairs director at Berry bpi. The partnership between the two companies ensures there is full traceability of the collected soft plastics through the supply chain.
25 to 30 tonnes per month of collected material, including bread bags, fruit, vegetable and salad packaging, is currently being sent to Berry’s recycling facility in Heanor, Derbyshire where it is washed, scrubbed, dried and reprocessed into pellets, ready for manufacturing into bin liners.
To ensure the liners have suitable strength, the Tesco recycled plastic pellet is blended with recovered agricultural films, such as baling wrap. The combination of the two recycled material sources gives the refuse sacks the required strength and durability, with a high resistance to tearing.
“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,” said William Guest, Tesco Sustainability Packaging Manager.
The Berry Heanor facility has the capacity to recycle 20,000 tonnes of used plastic packaging every year and features the first wash line and recycling facility in the UK that is able to recycle both flexible and rigid plastics from household and industrial waste. Utilising an advanced purification process, the plant produces high quality and consistent recyclate that can be used in a variety of industrial and consumer rigid and flexible applications such as storage boxes, refuse sacks and collation shrink films.