M&S launches in-store plastic take-back scheme

Consumers can take a variety of plastic packaging that are currently not recycled by local councils and typically end up in landfill

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Marks & Spencer (M&S) has launched a new scheme that allows consumers to take non-recyclable plastic packaging back to the stores.

That includes black ready meal trays, crisp packets, sauce sachets and certain cosmetic containers, all of which are currently not recycled by local councils and typically end up in landfill.

The retailer intends to recycle the plastics into store fittings, furniture and playground equipment for schools.

The scheme has currently been launched in Food and Beauty Halls at M&S Tolworth, Cribbs Cuseway, Westfield Stratford, Waterside, Loughton, Bluewater, Fosse Park and Peterborough.

It will be rolled out across all its stores nationwide by the end of 2019, with the new recycling bins made from the plastic collected through the first eight stores.

M&S is also introducing recycling collection points to primary schools in collaboration with waste education social enterprise Wastebuster where students will be taught about the importance of recycling and reducing plastic waste.

Laura Fernandez, Senior Packaging Technologist at M&S said: “Customers often don’t know how best to recycle certain types of plastic or where it goes after being collected by local councils. We’re on a mission to provide a greater awareness of landfill avoidance and plastic recyclability, while ultimately helping our customers to give plastic a new purpose and support a truly circular economy.”

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