Waitrose trials hard-to-recycle flexible plastic packaging return scheme
Waitrose is trialling a scheme that allows customers to return hard-to-recycle flexible plastics at their local store.
Having gone live in 37 branches serviced by Waitrose’s Leyland distribution centre in the north of England, the initiative permits all clean flexible plastics that can be crunched up, stretched, squashed or unfurled to be deposited in-store for an initial period of 12 weeks.
The supermarket has retrofitted drop off points that have historically been used to recycle plastic bags to enable them to take an expanded range of flexible plastics like crisp packets, sweet wrappers, bubble wrap and cling film.
If successful, the scheme will be rolled out to all Waitrose stores.
Marija Rompani, director of ethics and sustainability at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “The UK’s infrastructure is currently not fit for purpose to deal with the recycling of all flexible plastics, with significant volumes currently going to landfill or being incinerated in the UK each year.
“If the UK is to become more efficient in its handling of difficult to recycle flexible plastics, we not only need to invest in more capable machinery, we need to come together as an industry and make recycling flexible plastics easier for the public. This is the emphasis of our trial and our new drop off points in store and we hope it will provide us with the intelligence needed to roll out more widely in the future.”
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