Boots targets smarter materials recovery down the supply chain

Boots Opticians is rolling out several waste initiatives across its spectacle supply chain to as it looks to tighten up on landfill diversion of certain materials.

Over the past 12 months, the company has worked with its glazing partner to remove landfill from the process of spectacle glazing. In September 2012, its supplier introduced a dedicated facility exclusively for Boots Opticians orders in which all waste materials are either recycled or recovered.

The business has also launched a programme to introduce separation of waste in its standalone practices, bringing them into line with other Boots Opticians stores in the UK. This has effectively increased recycling rates to 90%.

Previous reviews undertaken by Boots Opticians have focused on introducing reusable totes into the supply chain and it is now delivering these to all practices following a successful trial according to the latest CSR report released today (September 19) by parent company Alliance Boots.

Alliance Boots’ main priority for 2012/13 was to reduce like-for-like total waste levels and increase the proportion of waste that is recycled across the group.

The target is for each principal business within the group to achieve a waste recycled level of 50% or higher, where local facilities exist to enable recycling.

Besides Boots Opticians, a new initiative out in Spain is making good progress towards this target – Alliance Healthcare España has introduced an integrated waste management system with an external provider across the majority of its distribution centres and offices.

Under the scheme, plastic waste is sifted and transformed into pellets, cardboard is collected and crushed, while electrical and electronic equipment waste including batteries, lamps, and other electronics are sold to a specialist recycling company.

Back in the UK, for Alliance Healthcare total waste recycled was up by 12 percentage points year on year to 81%, as the result of a stronger recycling culture which has been successfully developed across all of its distribution centres.

The group is also concentrating efforts on minimising waste in brand relaunches. For instance, the No7 brand was given a facelift in the UK and Ireland with more contemporary packaging and new in-store merchandising units to better merchandise the range.

Boots achieved a 100% recovery rate of the previous merchandising units which were replaced in the r-launch, with no waste going to landfill. Over 770 tonnes of material was collected across the UK and Ireland and sorted centrally to maximise recycling, with residual waste sent for incineration with heat recovery.

Maxine Perella

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