Action: Collect “recycle at stores” items separately

Annoyingly, kerbside recycling doesn’t cover all food packaging – yet

There are too many types of plastic in our food packaging, and not all are recyclable at the kerbside, so it’s not always easy to know what to do with all of our plastic waste.

However, increasingly, some of our large supermarkets are now accepting some of this plastic back, in addition to their own carrier bags.

Usefully, manufacturers have started marking some of their packaging accordingly; this example pictured, from Birds Eye frozen peas, is a good one


So our action today is to set aside a box or bag in your kitchen, and gather this type of packaging ready to take with you next time you go shopping.

What to include

We still have to be careful about contaminating recycling systems with unsuitable plastics, so the golden rules are:

  • only gather together supermarket carrier bags and items labelled like the one in our picture that explicitly say they are suitable
  • make sure items are clean; food waste contaminates batches of recycling and makes things a lot worse
  • packaging from things like fruit, onions, potatoes, bread, tea, frozen goods, rice, pasta and others will often have this label on them.

What to do with it

Take the packaging back to the supermarket where you do your main shop; there will be a collecting point for it. Alternatively, hand it all to the delivery driver if you use a supermarket delivery service.


Why is this important?

Like so many of our eco-action articles this year, this will reduce the amount of plastic going to landfill or incineration. Both are very poor places for our waste to go, and in fact often such discarded plastic will ultimately end up in our watercourses and oceans. This plastic pollution mountain is killing and poisoning our wildlife; we need to get our use of plastic – and its disposal – under control.

By taking this simple action you will:

  • reduce your plastic footprint
  • reduce your carbon footprint
  • reduce landfill, incineration and littering
  • help to keep our countryside, beaches and seascapes free of unsightly litter
  • educate your family
  • contribute to consumer pressure to keep the use of non-recyclable plastic to a minimum

Take action

Please take this simple action to sort your plastic waste, it can really help to make a difference.

If you haven’t done so already, please sign up to our bulletin “Take Action” using the form below, and thank you for your support.

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