Hovis Launches UK-Wide Bread Bag Recycling With Terracycle

UK bread brand Hovis has this week launched a bread bag recycling initiative in partnership with recycling experts TerraCycle. 

All Hovis bread bags are 100% recyclable through the plastic bag collection points at most major retailers’ stores. Recently, Hovis has started rolling out clearer recycling labels on packs to encourage more people to dispose of their bread bags correctly.

However, research commissioned by Hovis suggests that a third (31%) of people continue to find recycling challenging as they are unsure of what they can recycle. This combined with figures from Recoup which highlight the fact that only one-in-ten local authorities currently recycle bread bags, means that despite a growing desire amongst people 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 within their community.

Nish Kankiwala, CEO of Hovis – “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.”

The Hovis scheme, called the Bread Bag Recycling Programme, aims to create 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. It is a great opportunity for individuals and local groups such as schools and shops to take part and work towards a common goal.

Anyone can recycle via the Hovis and TerraCycle Bread Bag Recycling Programme, with consumers having two options for how they opt to recycle:

  1. 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 for recycling;
  2. They can locate community collection points using a map on the TerraCycle website and take their used bread bags to dedicated collection points from where the packaging is then sent in for recycling. If there isn’t an existing community collection point then consumers are encouraged to set up and administrate their own collection point for their community.

Community collection points can be established by groups such as schools, charities, community groups etc at easy to access locations.  Whoever runs the community collection point decides the school, charity or non-profit organisation which benefits from the reward points raised from the recycling.

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

Nish Kankiwala, CEO of Hovis, 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.

“Whilst 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.”

Laure Cucuron, General Manager for TerraCycle Europe added: “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.”

The initiative with TerraCycle is part of a wider programme of environmental measures that Hovis has introduced. Along with clearer recycling labels on pack, Hovis is also trialling new all-electric bread delivery vehicles, installed more efficient route planning and has recently become a member of the Plastic Pact, all demonstrating its commitment to operating sustainably.

Darrel Moore

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