// Dixons Carphone launches its industry first EPS recycling scheme
// This new service will reduce the business’ carbon footprint by extending the material’s lifecycle
// Over the last year the company removed 1.7m items of plastic packaging from its own brands
The parent company of Currys PC World, Dixons Carphone has launched an industry first recycling scheme allowing shoppers to return expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging to stores to be recycled for free.
After a successful trial in 14 stores over a six weeks period this summer Currys PC World is rolling out the customer EPS drop-off service to all UK stores.
Initially, stores will only accept EPS associated with TV packaging but the retailer is set to collect different types of EPS packaging as consumer demand and uptake increases.
This unique service will reduce the business’ carbon footprint by extending the material’s lifecycle and, as polystyrene is made from petroleum, puts less pressure on limited resources.
EPS is also notoriously awkward to dispose of at home due to its volume and is very rarely recycled by local authorities with most being incinerated or ending up in landfill.
This new in-store scheme will join Currys PC World’s existing home delivery recycling service which has allowed customers to hand back their packaging to delivery drivers for over a decade.
The retailer currently recycles over a tenth of all consumer product packing polystyrene in the UK amd turns compacted EPS into insulation panels for housing with the help of a third party.
Dixons Carphone senior sustainability operations and compliance manager Chris Brown said: “We’re proud to be the first retailer to enable customers to drop off their TV packaging in stores for recycling.”
“Now customers can have their polystyrene taken away at delivery or drop it off at one of our stores. Whatever they choose we’ll take it off their hands and ensure we reuse or recycle it in a responsible way – helping customers do their bit for the planet.”
Alongside this new measure, Dixons Carphone has also recently shared its plans to make 100 per cent of its own label products packaging reusable or recyclable by 2023.
The retailer is working closely with its own label suppliers to help develop innovative packaging solutions without plastic or EPS.
Current initiatives include the trial of switching from EPS to cardboard packaging for large domestic appliances alongside others.
As a result over the last year the company removed 1.7 million items of plastic packaging from its own brands, over 27 tonnes, which is the equivalent weight of over 400 washing machines.
Since the start of the initiative in 2019 the company has removed nearly 3 million pieces of plastic packaging.
Dixons Carphone group Director of sustainability and ESG Moira Thomas said: “We recognise the pressing need to improve our use of resources. We are a leader in extending the life of technology through repair, recycling and reuse and we offer customers products that help them save energy, reduce waste and save water,”
“This EPS recycling scheme and our intention to make 100 per cent of our own label plastic packaging reusable or recyclable by 2023 is a great example of the innovative work we do to reduce our impact on the environment.”