Tesco, which is claimed to be the UK’ s biggest retailer, is trialing money back on returned plastic bottles, and urged for a national approach to recycling.
The company unveiled additional ways to make it simpler for customers to recycle and reuse plastic packaging, and stepped up its commitment to move to a closed loop packaging system.
The company, which has committed to make all packaging fully recyclable or compostable by 2025, also urged the UK Government to introduce a consistent nation-wide approach to recycling.
Tesco has started trialling in-store recycling machines, under which customers will be paid for every plastic bottle returned. The trial seeks to encourage customers to recycle plastic bottles.
The company will undertake the trial at selected stores in Borehamwood, Swansea, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham. The first machine in Borehamwood will pay 10p for bottles returned.
Tesco said that from 3 October 2018 customers would also be able to reuse their own multi-use plastic containers when they buy meat, cheese or fish from deli and fish counters in British stores.
The company will weigh the products and wrap them in recyclable paper rather than using single-use plastic bags. Products will then be placed inside the customer’s container with the price label appearing on the paper.
Tesco UK and ROI CEO Jason Tarry said the latest step marks another step in the company’s commitment to eliminating single use plastic wherever possible and make recycling simpler for customers.
Tarry said: “However, we know that it is going to take retailers, manufacturers and government to work together to make progress. We would urge the government to move to a single, nationwide approach to waste collection that makes it much easier for people to recycle.”
Earlier this year, Tesco unveiled plans to simplify the number of materials it uses in packaging to help enhance the ease and rate of recyclability.
Tesco said more than 80% of the packaging on all its own brand products is recyclable depending on if the local authority collects it.
The company said the inconsistencies in infrastructure and recycling activities between councils make consumer education and closed loop packaging systems impossible to build.