A Swindon-designed innovation that sees hard-to-recycle plastic waste converted back into oil is being trialled by supermarket giant Tesco.
Shoppers will be able to return any plastic to their participating store, where it will be recycled by Swindon-based Recycling Technologies.
Recycling Technologies’ new state-of-the-art recycling process can handle all plastics – not just those collected by local councils – including pet food pouches, shopping bags, sweet wrappers, plastic film, and crisp packets.
The plastic is turned into a substance called Plaxx, which can then be made into new plastic goods.
Tesco’s director of quality, Sarah Bradbury said: “Reducing and recycling plastics is such an important issue for us, for customers and for the future of our planet.
"That’s why we are working hard to reduce the amount of packaging in our stores and have committed that all remaining packaging will be recyclable by 2025.
“Our trial with Recycling Technologies will make even more of our packaging recyclable and help us reach our target.
"This technology could be the final piece of the jigsaw for the UK plastic recycling industry.”
Recycling Technologies’ chief executive, Adrian Griffiths, said. “We are delighted to be working with Tesco to help its customers recycle more of their household plastic waste.
"Using our specialist feedstock recycling process we keep more plastic waste in the economy and out of landfill and our oceans.
"This initiative with Tesco is designed to show there are solutions to recover this important material. Our goal is to double the UK’s capacity to recycle plastic waste by 2027.”
Tesco says 83 percent of all its packaging is currently recyclable. Should this soft-plastics collection be rolled out to all Tesco stores, it is estimated that it will be possible to recycle around 90 percent of Tesco’s own label packaging – the equivalent of 65,000 additional tonnes of plastic being put to good use every year.
Tesco is working toward its commitment that all of its packaging is fully recyclable by 2025.
The trial is being conducted at Tesco Extra at Ocotal Way, Swindon and at nine other sites in Bristol and the Cotswolds.