Hovis launch bread bag recycling scheme with TerraCycle

Flour and Bread company Hovis has launched a bread bag recycling initiative in partnership with recycling firm TerraCycle.

Flour and bread company Hovis has launched a bread bag recycling initiative in partnership with recycling firm TerraCycle. 

All Hovis bread bags are 100% recyclable through the plastic bag collection points at most major retailers’ stores. 


Recently, the bread company started rolling out clearer recycling labels on packs to encourage more people to dispose of their bread bags correctly. 

However, research commissioned by Hovis found that 31% of people continue to find recycling challenging and are unsure of what is recyclable. Figures from Recoup highlighted the fact that only one-in-ten local authorities currently recycle bread bags, meaning that despite people wanting to recycle, it is difficult to do so.  

The partnership with TerraCycle aims to address this and make it easier for people to recycle used bread bags from home or in their community.  

This scheme, called the Bread Bag Recycling Programme, aims to develop a UK-wide network of public access bread bag recycling points. 

Community groups and individual consumers are encouraged to set up locations for their communities where the public can drop off used bread bags, which can be sent, free of charge, to TerraCycle for recycling.  

Consumers have two options on how they can opt to recycle: 

  • They can register as a private collector, enabling them to collect used bread bags at home and then access free postage labels to post them to TerraCycle 
  • They can locate community collection points using a map on the TerraCycle website and take it to the location to be collected and recycled. 

Community collection points can be created by groups such as schools, charities and community groups, and whoever decides to run the collection point decides the school, charity of non-profit organisation which benefits from the reward points raised by recycling. 

Any LDPE plastic bread bag from Hovis and other brands, can be sent for recycling where the packaging will be shredded and converted into plastic pellets or flakes, before being used to make new items such as benches and outdoor furniture. 

Hovis chief executive Nish Kankiwala said: “We’re delighted to launch this initiative with TerraCycle to improve the ease of recycling used bread bags and, as a result, cut the amount of plastic entering the waste stream. 

“While all Hovis bread bags are 100% recyclable the new Bread Bag Recycling Programme will make it much easier for consumers to recycle their used bread bags by dropping them off to easily accessible public access recycling points or sending them in for free from home. Given the increasing public concern and debate about the level of un-processed plastic waste, we hope this will help as part of the wider efforts to boost recycling of plastics.” 

TerraCycle Europe general manager Laure Cucuron said: “It is great to partner with Hovis and to work with this well-loved British brand to drive greater plastic recycling. Bread is a product that is consumed by many families on a daily basis so there is significant scope to alter consumer behaviour and to encourage people to recycle used bread bags. Hovis is helping to lead the agenda for the bread industry and we hope to see more brands and industries making moves in the same direction.” 

Laure Cucuron will be speaking at The Recycling Event about
How manufacturers and the recycling industry are developing new packaging recycling models. Info:https://therecyclingevent.com/

The initiative with TerraCycle is part of a wider programme of measures that Hovis has introduced. Along with clear recycling labels, it is also trialling new all-electric bread delivery vehicles, installed more efficient route planning and has become a member of the Plastic Pact.  

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