The ‘Ellacycle’ scheme aims to help parents recycle the pouches, which are not collected for recycling by local authorities. It is encouraging them to set up pouch collection points in public places such as nurseries and shops.
Any pouches dropped off at an Ellacycle collection point will be returned to Terracycle. The company then either recycles them into items such as lunch boxes or shreds them and pelletises the material to make hard plastic products such as tiling.
The baby food pouches contain aluminium sandwiched between two layers of plastic and so are more difficult to recycle than other forms of Ella’s Kitchen food packaging.
For every 100 pouches received, 2p per pouch is donated to the Ellacycler’s chosen charity or nursery.
Central to the scheme is the www.ellacycle.co.uk website which contains information on the scheme including a video.
Mark Cuddigan, managing director of Ella’s Kitchen, said: “At Ella’s Kitchen it’s important to us to be good to our planet. Pouches are designed to be lightweight in order to have fewer lorries on the road, but as they are a mix of materials, they need to be recycled in a special way. By encouraging more families to recycle their pouches, it allows us to give more back to communities and local charities.”
Terracycle, which began operating in the US in 2003, specialises in recycling materials for which there is little or no local authority collection infrastructure and in which people see no value.
The company has its headquarters in Trenton, New Jersey. Its UK arm was established in 2009.
The business already has collection schemes in place for companies including coffee producer Kenco, McVities, pen manufacturer Bic, Febreze and coffee disc brand Tassimo, as well as collecting waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) including mobile phones and laptops (see letsrecycle.com story).