Single use carrier bags distributed in Tesco stores across the UK are made from 100% recycled plastic material, under a partnership between the retailer and Hinckley-based Eurokey Recycling.
The collaboration sees post-consumer plastic waste and ‘back of store’ plastic material collected from the retailer used to create the bags, which from October are distributed in Tesco stores in England at a cost of 5p per bag.
Around 80% of the LDPE used in the production of the bags is derived from post consumer plastics, while the remaining 20% of the material is from store collections.
The material is collected by Eurokey which sort the plastics at its facility in Eastern Europe to prepare the LDPE for reprocessing.
The plastics are processed and granulated by German firm Papier Mettler at its facility in Morbach, Germany.
The granulated recycled LDPE is used to produce Tesco single use carrier bags as well as a part element of the Bag for Life.
John Dhillon, managing director of Eurokey Recycling, said: “We are very pleased to be part of a sustainable and ethical plastic recycling solution in line with the Tesco Corporate Social Responsibility ideals.”
Robin Hughes, procurement manager at Tesco, added: “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 of 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’s customers and the environment.”
Plastics recycling body Recoup has supported the project, with chief executive Stuart Foster describing the initiative as: “A perfect example of how joined up actions between the supply and recycling chain can deliver efficient recycling of plastic resources in a transparent way. A true plastics recycling success story and an example for others to follow.”