Sainsbury’s expands flexible plastic collections

Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has rolled out its flexible plastic recycling scheme to 520 stores nationwide.

Sainsbury’s initially trialed the points in the North East

The expanded initiative follows a successful trial system rolled out in 63 branches in the North East in February (see story).

The front of store recycling points will allow customers to dispose of soft packaging such as crisp packets, food pouches, salad bags and biscuit and cake wrappers for recycling.

The chain added that this is the latest move in its aim to “reduce, reuse, replace and recycle plastic in its own operations while continuing to make it easier for customers to recycle”.

Currently, just 17% of UK local authorities collect the problem material for recycling.

For the initial trial, Sainsbury’s partnered with Leicestershire-based Eurokey Recycling, which will mechanically recycle all polyethylene (PE) and PP film from Sainsbury’s front of store collections from customers and back of store operations.

Sainsbury’s has yet to confirm where the plastic will be recycled for the wider scheme.

Flexible plastic fund

The news follows the announcement in May that Sainsbury’s joined the Flexible Plastic Fund, which was launched last month by compliance scheme Ecosurety.

The fund aims to ensure flexible plastics are properly recycled by ensuring that it has a stable value (see story).

‘Really excited’

Claire Hughes, director of product and innovation at Sainsbury’s, said: “We’re really excited to announce the mass rollout of the Flexible Plastics Recycling scheme in over 520 of our stores, helping our customers to recycle more of their plastic packaging, instead of it ending up as waste.

Making recycling easier for our customers is a key part of our strategy to minimise the impact of single-use plastics on the environment, alongside our own ambitious target of reducing the use of plastics in our own operations by 50% by 2025.”


It follows a call from resources charity WRAP last month, urging more supermarkets to collect all types of plastic bags and wrapping for sorting and recycling.

Aldi supermarket has also begun a trial to roll out soft plastic collection points in select stores in the UK (see story).

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