Monday, 17 November 2008

Update from the ISBO

Tesco have replied to my query:

Dear Katy,

I have contacted my Business Support Team who have looked into this further for me.

When they investigated they found that all of our sealed packs are laminates, this means that different kinds of materials are glued together. The only thing you can do is recycle in a special way for laminates or incinerate the packaging.

It is not a mono material so you can not put it in a bin of a determined plastic.

I hope this information helps.

Thank you for asking us about this.

Well. What can I say? If it is the case that "the only thing you can do is recycle in a special way for laminates or incinerate the packaging", it seems a bit disingenuous to say that the packaging "can be recycled where facilities exist". I know this is strictly true, but the likelihood of a customer having access to those facilities is effectively zero. The aggrieved consumer is presumably supposed to lobby their beleaguered local council for facilities to recycle special laminates!

Wouldn't it be great to see large and influential companies like Tesco taking the lead in making it easier for people to recycle more, and in particular taking responsibility for the packaging used on their own-branded items. I would like to see some sort of commitment to using packaging materials that are more commonly recyclable in domestic collections, and clearly labelling them to assist the consumer with recycling. After all, as they keep telling us, every little helps!

I've replied to Tesco with the above comments. I don't expect them to reply and say that thanks to my suggestion they have changed their packaging policy, but maybe if we all said a similar thing...

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