M&S scores first with recycled PET packs

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Recycled polyethylene terephthalate, Recycling, Polyethylene terephthalate

Marks & Spencer (M&S) claims to have become the first UK retailer to use recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) packaging for food...

Marks & Spencer (M&S) claims to have become the first UK retailer to use recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) packaging for food products.

The company is testing rPET plastic for its Food To Go fresh salads, juices and smoothies and introducing recycling bins at four of its busiest London stores after research showed that the products were often consumed within minutes of purchase and the packaging was discarded soon after buyers left the stores.

The new juice bottles contain 30% of post-consumer recyclate (PCR) and the salad containers 50% PCR.

Recycling company Closed Loop London (CLL) and the not-for-profit organisation London Remade provided M&S and its plastic supplier with expertise for the project, which is being funded by the government-backed Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP). CLL is also involved in product trials and post-launch communication.

PET is used in a significant proportion of UK bottles and other packaging. Some is recycled but virtually none goes back into food packaging.

Olivia Tait from CLL said: "The stumbling block in the UK has been that you can't guarantee a supply of PCR material. So we have come from a different angle and said let's create a demand for this material."

CLL hopes to have a sorting, washing and recycling plant that would supply rPET pellets to more plastics companies in the London area by summer next year. Tait said the rPET material costs no more than non-recycled plastic.

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