Supermarket Tesco and recycler Faerch have developed a closed loop solution to recycle PET trays that are used to transport and hold goods stored on shelves.
This secondary packaging is typically only used once, but will now be recycled back into food contact packaging.
The PET trays will be collected by Faerch and chemically recycled to make new food contact PET pots, tubs and trays.
It means packaging for Tesco’s own brand cut fruit, selected yoghurts and meat will be guaranteed to contain 30% rPET that originated in Tesco stores.
To achieve this, Tesco will require all its own brand and branded suppliers to use food contact approved PET for self ready packaging.
Tesco sustainable packaging manager William Guest said: “Wherever we can, we remove or reduce packaging but where it is needed we want to improve circularity to make our packaging as sustainable as possible.
“One way we can do that is by ensuring packaging that meets food contact requirements remains within the food packaging sector, being recycled back into food contact packaging. This collaboration with Faerch will ensure that each year 2,000 tonnes of PET is recycled to make new Tesco packaging that otherwise would have been downcycled into non-food applications.”