Tesco to launch five-month carton recycling trial

Tesco, Kellogg and the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK) yesterday (20 October) announced a five-month trial to collect cartons at in-store recycling points.

Building on ACE UK’s national carton bring bank network, carton recycling points will be introduced into 11 Tesco stores across England and Wales to gain insight into how prepared customers are to return packaging to stores for recycling. The trial comes as part of Tesco’s 4R plan for packaging: ‘Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’.

Cartons are a common form of packaging, often used to pack products such as fruit juice, lunchbox-sized drinks, soups, passata and custard, yet only 68 per cent of councils collect the packaging at kerbside.

Whilst the UK uses approximately 60,000 tonnes of carton packaging per year, with the latest figures placing the country’s recycling rate of this material at 48 per cent, there is currently just one dedicated beverage carton recycling plant in the UK, owned by ACE UK and located in Stainland, near Halifax.

ACE UK represents a selection of major UK beverage carton manufacturers, such as Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc. The industry body has run the beverage carton industry’s recycling programme for over 12 years, and the trial will use its Stainland recycling facility.

The new carton recycling points will also be used as a short-term recycling solution for Pringles packaging, which is currently unable to be recycled in household collection. Kellogg, the company that owns the snacks brand, has announced its intention to improve the recyclability of the Pringles tube, and is currently testing a ‘widely recyclable’ paper packaging solution.