The collection phase of our trial with Tesco successfully completed.

We want to thank everyone who has brought plastic waste back to Tesco stores for your commitment and engagement.

Participation in the trials has been very strong and exceeded our expectations. The trials have proven how keen people are to recycle and their enthusiasm to look for solutions.

At the end of October, we reached the agreed amount of plastic waste with Tesco and received the last load. We will now start the next phase analysing and preparing for processing.

Initial results are very positive: less than 2% of the received waste is of non-plastic nature.

The next step for us is to start recycling in the Beta Plant in Swindon with the aim of recycling it back into new plastic enabling a true circularity of plastics.

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FAQs

Tesco has stopped collecting soft plastics in front of store while Covid-19 restrictions are in place, is the scheme going to restart?

The trial between Recycling Technologies and Tesco has ended. For information on Tesco front of store collections of ‘soft’ plastics bags, packets, and wrappers, including Tesco’s plans for re-commencing the collections, please contact Tesco’s helpline www.tesco.com/help/contact for the latest status and help on this matter.

Is your plant in Swindon fully operational or is it a demonstration model?

The site at Swindon’s Cheney Manor recycling centre is a research and development ‘Beta’ plant, that operates for trial, training, and testing purposes. Having temporarily been closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, we are now re-starting our Beta plant gradually and with enhanced safety measures in place.

Our first full-scale commercial RT7000 plant is being manufactured in the Swindon assembly plant in the South Marston Business Park and is to be installed in a waste site in Perthshire, Scotland, with others in the pipeline thereafter.

When will the results of the Tesco trial be known?

We agreed on a volume of soft plastic waste that we would take in for the trial with Tesco, which we could accommodate alongside our other clients’ materials, and this volume has been reached. We have now prepared and analysed the waste, ready for processing. Like Tesco, our operations have been affected by the Covid-19 closures, but we look forward to being able to prioritise the processing of these soft plastics and share the results of our trials with Tesco as soon as possible, including via our quarterly newsletter [link to join]

Can I bring plastic waste directly to Recycling Technologies for recycling?

No. We are not able to receive waste directly to the Recycling Technologies’ Beta plant unless is it is from a licensed waste handler and pre-arranged with clients for sampling and testing. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept wastes from the public directly.


Please note that all enquiries regarding collection in store and future plans should be directed to Tesco’s customer service.

Trial store locations and types of plastic

In ten Tesco stores in the South West during the summer of 2019, shoppers were able to bring back their ‘soft’ plastic waste which will then be sent to Recycling Technologies for recycling. The ten stores collecting your soft plastics were:

    • Bristol Lime Trees Road Superstore, BS6 7XW
    • Bristol Yate Extra, BS37 4AS
    • Bristol Brislington Extra, BS4 5AY
    • Bristol Staple Hill Metro, BS16 5NP
    • Keynsham Superstore, BS31 2BA
    • Bristol East Extra, BS5 6XU
    • Cirencester Metro – Farrell Close, GL7 1HW
    • Cirencester Extra, GL7 1NP
    • Swindon Extra, SN1 2EH
    • Tetbury Superstore, GL8 8HZ

The trial collected in store:

    • Crisp, chocolate, rice cake packets
    • Sweets and biscuit wrappers
    • Pet food, baby food pouches
    • Drink pouches (e.g. Caprisun)
    • Yogurt tubes and pots
    • Cling film, multi-pack film, film lids
    • Any plastic bag such as fruit & veg, bread, pasta, and tissue bags.

PRESS RELEASE

Swindon, UK. 2nd April 2019 – There is now a way for some of Britain’s shoppers to stop the hardest to recycle, soft plastics from going to waste. This week, Tesco will start collecting previously unrecyclable plastics to be recycled in ten of its stores as part of a trial with the recycling specialist, Recycling Technologies.

Customers will be able to return to trial stores everything from pet food pouches to shopping bags and crisp packets, all of which cannot commonly be recycled by local councils; safe in the knowledge that the packaging will be sent for recycling through Recycling Technologies’ new, state of the art recycling process.

This comes as part of Tesco’s efforts to make all its packaging recyclable, creating a closed loop – preventing packaging from going to waste.

The plastics trial begins with the installation of ten collection booths at Tesco stores in and around the Swindon and Bristol areas. Recycling Technologies has developed and patented a process to turn waste plastic back into oil, Plaxx® – a material which can then be used in the manufacture of new plastic.

Tesco’s Director of Quality, Sarah Bradbury said, “Reducing and recycling plastics is such an important issue for us, for customers and for the future of our planet. That’s why we are working hard to reduce the amount of packaging in our stores and have committed that all remaining packaging will be recyclable by 2025.

“Our trial with Recycling Technologies will make even more of our packaging recyclable and help us reach our target. This technology could be the final piece of the jigsaw for the UK plastic recycling industry.”

WWF UK’s Sustainable Materials Specialist, Paula Chin said, “It’s great to see Tesco running this innovative trial offering customers an easy way to recycle more and waste less. From our local beaches to the remote Arctic, plastic is choking our oceans and killing wildlife. Eight million tonnes are dumped into our seas every year – killing turtles, fish, whales and birds. While we can all do our bit by reducing the plastic we buy and embracing reusable items, we need producers, businesses and governments to face their responsibilities too.”

Recycling Technologies’ Chief Executive, Adrian Griffiths said. “We are delighted to be working with Tesco to help its customers recycle more of their household plastic waste. Using our specialist ‘feedstock’ recycling process we keep more plastic waste in the economy and out of landfill and our oceans. This initiative with Tesco is designed to show there are solutions to recover this important material. Our goal is to double the UK’s capacity to recycle plastic waste by 2027.”

83% of all Tesco’s packaging is currently recyclable. Should this soft-plastics collection be rolled out to all Tesco stores, it is estimated that it will be possible to recycle around 90% of Tesco’s own label packaging – the equivalent of 65,000 additional tonnes of plastic being put to good use every year. Tesco is working toward its commitment that all of its packaging is fully recyclable by 2025.

This follows Tesco’s announcement last week of a trial removing packaged fruit and veg wherever a loose alternative exists in two stores.

Last year, Tesco made strides towards its ambition for a closed loop packaging system, sharing its intention to stop packing products in the hardest to recycle materials by the end of 2019.

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