Tesco turns warehouse waste into recycled plastic bags

UK supermarket giant Tesco has developed a new circular economy solution allowing it to turn its own back-of store-plastic waste, such as pallet and multi-pack wrapping, into plastic bags.

The waste-plastic material is collected and sorted by recycling firm Eurokey then processed and turned into bags by plastics-recycling expert Papier-Mettler.

The recycled bags will be available throughout the supermarket chain for Tesco consumers from this October.

Tesco procurement manager  Robin Hughes commented “We are extremely proud to work with these suppliers to turn plastics from our business generated waste into our single use carrier bags.

“We believe that recycling materials back into products makes sense for the industry and the environment.”

Bill Aldridge, UK sales manager at Papier Mettler said: “We are delighted to be working with Tesco to achieve optimal solutions regarding green packaging.

“As a result, Tesco not only offers carrier bags made of post-consumer recycled material, they have now gone one step further.  By closing the material loop, Tesco carrier bags are now produced using their own plastic waste. An ideal situation for Tesco, Tesco customers and the environment.”

Positive message

The announcement of the scheme comes a week after the 5p charge was introduced in the UK to reduce the environmental impact of single-use plastic bags

WRAP director Marcus Gover added: “Tesco’s move to include post-consumer plastic waste in their new carrier bags is a positive and welcome step. Tesco shoppers will now be able to appreciate first-hand the potential for recycled plastic and it will help reinforce a positive recycling message.”

Earlier this year, Tesco announced plans to cut food waste by handing out tonnes of surplus food to charities at the end of each day. In late 2014, the retailer also moved to improve its energy efficiency through a partnership with data analysis firm Elster Energy.

Brad Allen

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