Tesco and Kellogg’s have announced a new trial to collect cartons at the supermarket’s stores.
Working with the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK), the five-month trial across England and Wales at 11 stores will see recycling points set up to test how prepared customers are to return the packaging to stores for recycling.
Cartons used to pack products such as fruit juice, lunchbox-sized drinks, soups, passata and custard will be included, with the companies highlighting the fact that only 68% of councils collect the packaging at kerbside.
This trial is part of Tesco’s ‘4 Rs’ plan for packaging – Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – and builds on ACE UK’s national carton Bring Bank network.
It comes amid pressure from campaign groups for the government to include cartons as part of an ‘all-in’ deposit return scheme.
In August, a group of 20 cross-party MPs signed an early day motion urging the PM to back a scheme which would include coffee cups, cartons and pouches.
The new carton recycling points will also be able to be used as a short-term recycling solution for Kellogg’s-owned Pringles. The supplier has committed to improving the recyclability of the Pringles tube so they can be recycled in household collections and is also testing a ‘widely recyclable’ paper packaging solution.
“We are overhauling our packaging by removing unnecessary and non-recyclable packaging from our business and will make sure everything we use can be recycled continuously,” said Tesco’s head of packaging James Bull.
“Consistency in the UK’s recycling infrastructure remains a problem and it is vital the government quickly implements its plans for collection across councils. In the meantime, we will test new in-store recycling facilities for packaging such as cartons to see if we can improve recycling rates.”
Chris Silcock, UK MD at Kellogg’s, added: “We know people want to be able to recycle their Pringles tubes. This trial will allow our shoppers to return them to be recycled into something new and is an important step to help us assess the success of in-store collection for Pringles. We’re pleased to make further progress on our commitment to make all our packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by the end of 2025.”
Mandy Kelly, recycling manager for ACE UK, which represents the UK’s leading beverage carton manufacturers Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combiblo, said: “We are delighted to be working on this collaborative project with Tesco and Pringles. Whilst our primary focus will remain on increasing kerbside collection for beverage cartons, we know the easier it is for consumers to recycle, the higher the recycling rate. This trial represents an ideal opportunity to increase easy access to carton recycling while we continue to work hard to get cartons collected at kerbside everywhere in the UK.”