The food retailer is investing in more comprehensive bring banks to provide a one stop shop for customers’ household recycling needs, but says these will complement existing kerbside collections offered by councils.

It has already teamed up with Palm Recycling, a provider of bring bank services, as well as Oxfam and Valpak, to roll the new system out across its stores.

Under the agreement, Palm Recycling will work with councils to take over management of the facilities, which could to be extended to up to 350 of Sainsbury’s recycling sites.

Palm Recycling will manage the new-look, front of store recycling service which comprises standardised recycling containers for mixed paper and card, mixed glass, mixed plastics, mixed cans, textiles and small waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

Sainsbury’s head of engineering, sustainability, energy & environment Paul Crewe said the initiative could improve regional recycling rates for local authorities and help them fulfil their waste reporting obligations.

“By making this service as convenient as possible for customers we’re hoping that it’ll become part of their weekly shop, and the feedback we’ve received from the trial indicates that customers are in favour of a more comprehensive service,” he said.

“This is particularly the case if their current kerbside service doesn’t collect materials which these new facilities accommodate such as clothing, mixed plastics, and small electrical items.”

The move has been welcomed by WRAP. One of its directors, Marcus Gover, said he was encouraged by the approach Sainsbury’s is taking.

“This initiative will improve the recycling experience for many of Sainsbury’s customers, enabling them to recycle a wider range of materials at many of its stores,” he said.

“It is good that all the facilities will adopt the Recycle Now branding which has high consumer recognition and is already used by many local authorities.”

The investment forms part of a wider CSR drive at Sainsbury’s, which is working towards achieving its 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan target of putting all waste to positive use by 2020.

This project will enable the retailer to make progress against its delivery goal of providing the most comprehensive recycling facilities at its supermarkets. Currently the new facilities are in over 20 stores in greater London.

Maxine Perella

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