Waitrose has become the latest supermarket to offer an in-store soft plastic recycling scheme.

Following the retailer’s search for a UK-based waste management service which met its requirements and the completion of ‘a successful trial’, 295 Waitrose stores have now been fitted with soft plastic recycling drop-off stations.

Shoppers can recycle the following: carrier bags; bread bags; frozen food bags; delivery bags; cereal liners; toilet roll wrapping; salad, pasta and rice bags; cheese fish and meat wrapping; crisps, biscuit and chocolate wrapping; baby and pet food pouches; bubble wrap; and cling film.

What must not be disposed of in the recycling bins are compostable soft plastic alternatives, bottles, pots, tubs, trays and anything comprised of multiple materials.

We know that recycling is a key priority for many of our customers

All plastic waste gathered from Waitrose stores is sent to Glasgow where it is washed, separated and flaked or pelletized at a reprocessing facility, before being turned into new materials such as toilet paper packaging; shrink wrap for the transportation of goods; delivery and carrier bags; refuse sacks; bags for DIY; industrial and horticultural products; and guttering, buckets or plastic garden furniture.

Caroline Pinnell, sustainability and ethics specialist at Waitrose, comments: “We know that recycling is a key priority for many of our customers so we’re delighted to be able to offer flexible plastic recycling across a number of our shops.

“Across both Waitrose and John Lewis, we are continuing to strip away single-use packaging and provide our customers with convenient reuse, refill and recycling solutions. We are on track to meet our 2023 Waitrose packaging target, that all of our own-brand packaging will be reusable or made from widely recyclable or home-compostable material by the end of 2023, two years ahead of the industry-wide WRAP UK Plastic Pact.”

Image credit: John Lewis Partnership

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Having spent the early part of career putting her BA (Hons) in Media Writing to use as a freelancer writer across a number of industries – from wellbeing, food and travel to design and events – Rosie Greenaway’s post as editor of Natural Products News and Natural Beauty News began in 2017. In 2018 she co-launched NPN’s 30 under 30 initiative, is a regular presenter and speaker on industry panels, is a judge of several awards schemes in food and beauty (from the Soil Association’s BOOM Awards to the Who’s Who in Green Beauty Scandinavia) and acts as an Advisory Board Member for the Sustainable Beauty Coalition.