Tesco has begun recycling used plastic food trays back into packaging in what it calls an “industry first”.
The supermarket says the process creates a fully circular packaging solution for its range of core chilled ready meals.
The change is in collaboration with packaging manufacturer Faerch and will see customer-recovered PET trays – collected via European kerbside waste – recycled and converted back into food-grade plastic trays.
Commenting on the announcement, Adele Kearns, Packaging Development Manager at Tesco, said: “We are determined to close the loop on our packaging – for it to be fully recyclable and contain recycled content wherever possible.
“We remain committed to reducing our environmental impact, and helping our customers to do the same, as we work together to protect our planet.”
We are determined to close the loop on our packaging – for it to be fully recyclable and contain recycled content wherever possible.
Tesco says its ready meal trays already contain up to 75% recycled content, predominantly from “cleaner and easier” to recycle bottle flake plastic. Through the new Tray 2 Tray by Faerch programme, a minimum of 30% recycled tray content will be included in the new core chilled ready meals trays, the supermarket says.
A phased rollout of the new trays will take place in April across Tesco’s core own brand chilled ready meals. Tesco says that the collaboration will ensure that high-quality food-grade PET is kept within the supply chain, rather than being downcycled.
The supermarket also wants the process to demonstrate that PET packaging from trays can be fully recovered and recycled at an industrial scale.
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