Bread producer Hovis has launched a recycling initiative for its LDPE bread bags in partnership with the specialist recycler TerraCycle.
According to Hovis, all of its bread bags are recyclable through plastic bag collection points at major retailers’ stores. Recently, Hovis has started rolling out clearer recycling labels on packs to encourage more people to dispose of their bread bags through these channels.
Research commissioned by the bread producer suggests that a third of people continue to find recycling challenging as they are unsure of what they can recycle.
Hovis said figures from Recoup also highlight the fact that one-in-ten local authorities currently accept film plastic such as bread bags for recycling. Post consumer film-plastic is seen as challenging to recycle, as it can be difficult to separate from higher value rigid plastics, and due to contamination levels.
The partnership with TerraCycle aims to address this and make it easier for people to recycle used bread bags from home or within their community – mirroring similar initiatives set up by the company to collect other ‘hard to recycle’ materials and products.
The Hovis scheme, called the ‘Bread Bag Recycling Programme’, aims to create a UK-wide network of public access bread bag recycling points. Community groups and individual consumers are encouraged to set up locations for their communities where the public can drop off used bread bags, which can be sent, free of charge, to TerraCycle for recycling.
Community collection points can be established by groups such as schools, charities, and community groups, at easy to access locations. Whoever runs the community collection point decides the school, charity or non-profit organisation which benefits from the reward points raised from the recycling.
Any LDPE plastic bread bag, both from Hovis and other bread brands, can be sent in for recycling.
Packaging will be shredded and converted into plastic pellets or flakes, before being used to make new recycled products such as public benches and outdoor furniture, the companies say. Processors of the material have not been disclosed.
TerraCycle describes itself as an “innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling typically hard-to-recycle waste”. The American company launched in 2009 and its UK operations are based in west London.
Last month, the company unveiled a global shopping system called Loop, in partnership with some of the largest consumer product companies (see letsrecycle.com story).