Tesco has launched one of Britain’s first fully automated recycling machines, designed to encourage customers to recycle more of their household waste.

The retailer believes the new equipment, which automatically sorts plastic, metal and glass, will encourage customers to triple the amount of waste they bring to stores for recycling.

Margaret Beckett, secretary of state for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “I am delighted to see retailers using their unique position to help encourage those who already do so to recycle more.”

The technology for the new equipment was developed by the Norwegian company TOMRA. The company’s executive vice president and ceo Morthen Johannessen, said: “We are excited that Tesco has chosen Tomra as a partner in bringing a more efficient and environmentally friendly way of recycling to the UK.”