Sainsbury’s to trial ‘pre-cycle’ scheme in store

Sainsbury’s to trial ‘pre-cycle’ scheme in store
Sainsbury’s to trial ‘pre-cycle’ scheme in store

Retailer Sainsbury’s has announced that it is introducing a ‘pre-cycle’ scheme to provide customers with an area, in store, to remove unwanted primary and secondary packaging, and leave it for recycling. 

This trial scheme means that the food will remain protected throughout the supply chain but offers the option to recycle before consumers take the item home.  


There will be a dedicated Design for Lifecycle Theatre at The Recycling Event. Speakers include WRAP & TerraCycle. Don’t miss out – tickets are just £85+vat:

The supermarket has also revealed that it will stop its use of dark coloured plastics across fresh foods by the end of 2019, and entirely by March 2020. 

Other actions the retailer is taking to reduce its plastic use include removing plastic packaging from sweetheart and savoy cabbages, cutting a further 100 tonnes of plastic packaging over the next year. 

Sainsbury’s previously introduced measures that are already leading to a reduction of 8,101 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic and use of ‘virgin plastic’ annually. Over the next year, it has said that it will remove a further 1,280 tonnes of plastic from items and ensure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.  

For the first time, the retailer is outlining where plastic is being removed, where plastic is being reduced, and where non-recyclable plastic is being replaced with recyclable alternatives.  

Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe said: “We are serious about reducing plastic. For many years, Sainsbury’s has prioritised sustainability and sought innovative solutions to reduce plastic packaging and increase recycling. These announcements show what we have already achieved and demonstrate our firm commitments for the future to make significant reductions in plastic use.” 

Some of the actions already taken by the supermarket include: 

  • Removing plastic straws (37 tonnes) 
  • Reducing the amount of plastic in core water bottles and lids (175 tonnes) 
  • Replacing carrier bags with bags for life made from 100% recycled content (6611 tonnes). 

It has said that it is piloting a deposit return scheme to ensure customers can return recyclable packaging simply and easily and is also committed to removing “hard to recycle” plastics such as PVC and polystyrene by the end of the year.  

A few weeks ago, Greenpeace called out Sainsbury’s as the ‘worst in the class’ of all major supermarkets for cutting plastic packaging, after it came last in a 2018 survey of retailer’s plastic policies and found that it made the least progress since January last year. 

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