Carton recycling trial set for Tesco stores

Teso recycling point.

Tesco, Kellogg and the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK) have announced a five-month trial to collect cartons at in-store recycling points.

Carton recycling points will be introduced into eleven Tesco stores in England and Wales to test how prepared customers are to return the packaging to stores for recycling.

Cartons are commonly used to pack products such as fruit juice, lunch box sized drinks, soups, passata and custard yet only 68% of councils collect the packaging at kerbside.

This trial comes as a part of Tesco’s 4R plan for packaging, Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and builds on ACE UK’s national carton bring bank network.

Tesco’s Head of Packaging James Bull said: “We are overhauling our packaging by removing unnecessary and non-recyclable packaging from our business and will make sure everything we use can be recycled continuously. Inconsistency in the UK’s recycling infrastructure remains a problem and it is vital that the Government quickly implements its plans for collection across councils. In the meantime, we will test new in-store recycling facilities for packaging such as cartons to see if we can improve recycling rates.”

The new carton recycling points can also be used as a short-term recycling solution for Pringles.

Kellogg, the company that owns the snacks brand, has committed to improving the recyclability of the Pringles tube so they can be recycled in household collections and is also testing a ‘widely recyclable’ paper packaging solution.

Tesco recycling point, with a woman dropping some plastic into it,

Chris Silcock, UK managing director, Kellogg said: “We know people want to be able to recycle their Pringles tubes. This trial will allow our shoppers to return them to be recycled into something new and is an important step to help us assess the success of in-store collection for Pringles. We’re pleased to make further progress on our commitment to make all our packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by the end of 2025.”

ACE UK represents the UK’s leading beverage carton manufacturers, Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc.

The industry body has run the beverage carton industry’s recycling programme for over twelve years, and the trial will use its specialist recycling facility at Stainland, near Halifax.

Opened in 2013 the facility was set up as a dedicated beverage carton recycling plant and as part of the trial will process Pringles tubes alongside cartons.

Commenting on the new trial, Mandy Kelly, Recycling Manager for ACE UK said: “We are delighted to be working on this collaborative project with Tesco and Pringles. Whilst our primary focus will remain on increasing kerbside collection for beverage cartons we know that the easier it is for consumers to recycle, the higher the recycling rate. This trial represents an ideal opportunity to increase easy access to carton recycling while we continue to work hard to get cartons collected at kerbside everywhere in the UK.”

Martin is a journalist and PR executive of Commercial Waste Magazine. He has worked in the commercial waste and recycling industry for over a decade and is dedicated to raising public awareness in the amount of recyclable waste being sent to landfill every year.

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