Marks & Spencer launches plastic take-back scheme
Marks & Spencer has launched a new initiative to enable customers to take back non-recyclable plastic packaging to its stores.
The scheme allows customers to drop items such as black ready meal trays, crisp packets, sauce sachets and certain cosmetics containers, all of which are not currently recycled by local councils, in special recycling bins.
The retailer will use the collected plastic to make store fittings, furniture and playground equipment for schools.
Initially launched in M&S food and beauty halls in stores in Tolworth, Cribbs Causeway, Westfield Stratford, Waterside, Loughton, Bluewater, Fosse Park and Peterborough, the bins will be rolled out to stores nationwide by the end of 2019. These later bins will be made from recycled plastic collected through the first eight stores.
The retailer has partnered with plastics technology company Dow on the scheme to enable it to give the collected plastic a new purpose.
M&S will also be introducing recycling collection points at primary schools across the country in collaboration with waste education social enterprise, Wastebuster. In addition, pupils will be taught about the importance of recycling and reducing plastic waste.
Laura Fernandez, senior packaging technologist at M&S, said: “As a business, we’re committed to reducing the amount of plastic we use, and we have already started phasing out non-recyclable packaging from our products.
“Customers often don’t know how best to recycle certain types of plastic or where it goes after being collected by local councils. We’re on a mission to provide a greater awareness of landfill avoidance and plastic recyclability, while ultimately helping our customers to give plastic a new purpose and support a truly circular economy.”
M&S is working to make all of its packaging widely recyclable by 2022.
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