UK supermarket and retail giant Tesco is breathing life into its own plastic waste by turning it into single-use carrier bags, made from 100% recycled low-density polyethylene (LDPE), in collaboration with German packaging producer Papier-Mettler.
Tesco is partnering up with Eurokey Recycling Ltd., both members of RECOUP (RECycling Of Used Plastics Limited), to see that the carrier bags are made of post-consumer recycled material, produced using back of store pallet and multi-pack wrapping, thus closing the material loop.
The material will be picked up by Eurokey, which will then sort the plastics at its facility in Eastern Europe to prepare the LDPE for reprocessing. Afterwards, the plastics will be processed and granulated at the Papier-Mettler plant in Morbach, Germany.
The bags are made from 100% recycled LDPE. Eighty-percent of the material is post-consumer plastic waste with the remaining 20% being made up of recycled plastic waste from the production process on-site. The bags will be available for Tesco consumers in October.
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.”
Stuart Foster, RECOUP CEO, added: “[The partnership] is 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.”
Marcus Gover, Director of WRAP, commented: “Tesco’s move to include post-consumer plastic waste in their new carrier bags is a positive and welcome step. Tesco shoppers will now be able to appreciate first-hand the potential for recycled plastic and it will help reinforce a positive recycling message.”