Sainsbury’s announces largest rollout of innovative in-store recycling system

Sainsbury’s rolls out its largest flexible plastic packaging recycling system
"Making recycling easier for our customers is a key part of our strategy" : Sainsburys.
// Sainsbury’s rolls out the largest flexible plastic packaging recycling system
// The mass roll out is set to drastically reduce the amount of plastic waste pollution

Following a successful trial in the North East of England, Sainsbury’s has rolled out an innovative new recycling system to a total of 520 supermarkets.

The roll out will allow shoppers to recycle all flexible plastic packaging which is not commonly accepted for kerbside collection by local authorities.

This includes packaging such as crisp packets, food pouches, salad bags and biscuit and cake wrappers which 83 per cent of UK local authorities currently don’t accept for recycling.


The expanded initiative has the potential to significantly decrease the amount of plastic packaging going to landfill, with a report from WRAP estimating that flexible film contributed towards 290,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste in 2019.

The introduction of the new, system by Sainsbury’s is the latest move in the retailer’s initiative to reduce, reuse, replace and recycle plastic in its own operations while continuing to make it easier for customers to recycle.

The news follows the announcement in May that Sainsbury’s joined the Flexible Plastic Fund, an initiative which aims to ensure flexible plastics are properly recycled.

Sainsbury’s director of product and innovation Claire Hughes 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 per cent by 2025.”

The retailer has also been announced as the Principal Supermarket Partner for the United Nation’s international climate change conference, COP26, taking place this November.

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  1. What are Sainsburys going to do with the plastic? How will it be recycled? Will it be sent overseas like other plastic?

  2. I just had a delivery and asked the driver if he’d take my bags – they weren’t Sainsbury’s ones, but a) I’m disabled and housebound, b) previous drivers have obliged c) I have been saving bags to help the planet.

    The driver was sarcastic and said he’d be taking “everyone’s rubbish at this rate”. I wasn’t aware that bags were rubbish if they are for recycling, and so I took the bags back and said he needn’t be sarcastic. He didn’t apologise.

    If Sainsbury’s have a pioneering system, the staff need to be on board and whilst I can understand that I wanted to recycle non-Sainsbury’s bags, it would have been a kindness to take the bags and stick them in the recycling bay because there were hardly any bags at all and it would have taken them a couple of moments as opposed to a 40+ minute round trip for me.

    I’m not used to sarcastic drivers and think I’ll try Tesco.


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