MSE News

Tesco to trial paying customers who recycle 10p per plastic bottle

Tesco has begun trialling in-store recycling machines which will pay customers 10p for every plastic bottle returned.

Under the scheme, shoppers will be able to return up to 10 plastic bottles a day – so if they return 10, they'll earn £1. The bottles will have to be up to 750ml in size and from Tesco or major brands such as Coca-Cola. Bottles from other supermarkets won't count.

The trial started in Tesco's Borehamwood store yesterday, and further trials are planned for shops in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester and Swansea.

The move comes as part of a wider drive among supermarkets to cut plastic waste. The Government announced in March that it was consulting on plans for a national plastic bottle deposit scheme, and other supermarkets such as Iceland are conducting similar trials, as shown in the video below.

You'll also be able to reuse plastic containers

In addition to the plastic bottle recycling trial, from Wednesday 3 October customers will be able to reuse their own multi-use plastic containers when they buy meat, cheese or fish from deli and fish counters in Tesco stores across the UK.

Instead of food being put in single-use plastic bags, it will be weighed and wrapped in recyclable paper, then placed inside the customer's container with the price label placed on the paper.

Customers will not be able to use their own containers for:

  • Hot food products, such as cooked rotisserie chicken.
  • Store-prepared pizzas.
  • The salad bar.
  • Olives and antipasti.

What does Tesco say?

Jason Tarry, UK and Republic of Ireland chief executive for Tesco, said: "We are already committed to eliminating single-use plastic wherever we can and make recycling simpler for customers. Today is another step in that direction 

"However, we know that it is going to take retailers, manufacturers and government to work together to make progress. We would urge the Government to move to a single, nationwide approach to waste collection that makes it much easier for people to recycle."