Asda and Ella’s Kitchen’s baby food pouch recycling scheme goes national after trial success

The envelopes will now be offered in 110 Asda stores

Launched in April, the six-month trial saw Asda provide Freepost envelopes for baby food pouches at 37 of its UK stores.

Consumers were encouraged to place up to 15 food pouches from any brand in the envelopes for posting to TerraCycle, which recycles them into products such as outdoor furniture, playground equipment and fence posts.

Ella’s Kitchen and TerraCycle additionally continued to operate their flagship network of drop-off points for the pouches, of which there were 400 at the start of the trial, throughout the pilot project.

The baby food company this week announced that, during the trial, its pouch collections increased by 87% on a year-on-year basis. Moreover, the network of collection points – commonly hosted in locations such as schools, offices and community spaces – grew to reach more than 600 hubs.

As such, Ella’s Kitchen and Asda will be rolling out the Freepost envelope service nationally and offering it in 110 of its stores.

In order to incentivise consumers to use the collection points and Freepost service, TerraCycle rewards users with a donation to a charity, NGO or school of their choice.

“At Ella’s Kitchen, we continue to be really proud of our partnership with TerraCycle, having been one of their first partners in the UK,” Ella’s Kitchen’s head of ‘The Good Stuff We Do’, Chris Jenkins, said.

“Since 2010, our EllaCycle programme has been providing parents and carers with a solution for all their baby food pouches and snack wrappers.

“As part of our commitment to The UK Plastics Pact, we know more needs to be done and that if we are to build a circular economy for plastics then greater collaboration is still required between industry as well as waste handlers, packaging manufacturers, local authorities and Government. The partnership with ASDA is a really important one as it demonstrates that collaboration and a commitment to working together for a sustainable solution.”

A world without waste

TerraCycle has diverted more than 7.7 billion pieces from landfill or incineration through its recycling service to date. The offering has attracted the support of an array of brands in recent months, including the likes of Gillette, Hovis, Johnson & Johnson, Colgate Palmolive and  PepsiCo subsidiary Walkers – the latter of which is operating the UK’s first national recycling scheme for crisp packets.

But, going forward, the recycling firm is also hedging its bets on reuse. In a recent exclusive interview with edie, TerraCycle chief executive Tom Szaky revealed that an average of one brand per day has joined its ‘Loop’ platform since it was unveiled in January. Under the platform, businesses provide product refills to consumers while retaining ownership of their reusable packaging. Loop this week received a £1.56m fund from media giant Sky’s Ocean Ventures investment arm, to support its UK launch next February.

TerraCycle at edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum 2020

TerraCycle’s chief executive Tom Szaky will be appearing at day two of edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum 2020, to deliver a keynote speech on resource efficiency. 

During the two-day event at London’s Business Design Centre on 4 & 5 February, some of the biggest companies, individuals and organisations championing sustainability will gather to discuss the emergency response in transitioning to a net-zero economy.

The flagship, multi-award-winning event features keynotes speakers including former President of Ireland Mary Robinson; Rebecca Marmot, Unilever CSO; Gilbert Ghostine, Firmenich CEO, plus directors and senior managers from Pret-A-Manger, Interface, Vattenfall, John Lewis, Taylor Wimpey, Aviva, Pernod Ricard, LEGO Group, M&S, Diageo, Tesco, WSP, BASF, Mondelēz and more. For details and to register, visit:

Sarah George

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