Tesco and ASDA sign up to BatteryBack

November 26, 2009 at 10:21 am

In May this year legislation was passed to bring into effect, in the UK, a three year old EU directive, obliging all large retailers and manufacturers of batteries to offer recycling facilities in-store by 1 Feb 2010.

The eventual aim is for 25% of all household batteries to be recycled by 2012, with the figure rising to 45% by 2016. Currently the huge majority of these are sent to landfill. Less than 3% of portable batteries are recycled, amounting to a staggering 30,000 tons each year.

Last month, just two days before the deadline for major retailers to say which scheme they would be joining, two of the UK’s largest supermarket names, ASDA and Tesco, allied themselves with BatteryBack, a compliance scheme run jointly by Leeds-based WasteCare and Veolia ES, a giant in the waste management industry.

ASDA, which manufactures and sells fifteen different makes of battery, has said that it will be aiming to have a recycling scheme up and running in its stores ahead of the 1 Feb 2010 deadline.

Tesco meanwhile plans to have its in-store takeback scheme operating in the New Year.

Morrisons was ahead of the game in that it was the first supermarket giant to have a collection scheme in many of its stores several months ago. It too has joined BatteryBack.

BatteryBack currently has over 2,000 collection points in the UK and they aim to increase this figure fifteen-fold to 30,000 by the end of 2010 and to double that figure to 60,000 by the end of 2012.

In order to find out where your nearest collection point is, just type your post code into the relevant box on the website.

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Tesco tries to cut waste with BOGOF Later scheme

November 20, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Buy One Get One Free offers are an extremely effective marketing tool for supermarkets. After all, there’s nothing guaranteed to bring a smile to a shopper’s face like getting something for nothing. However, how often have you ended up throwing away the free item because you have not been able to use it in time?

There has been much publicity recently about the fact that in the UK a staggering one third of all the food that we buy ends up in the dustbin. Not only does this cost our pockets dearly, to the tune of around £420 a year for the average household, but there is also a huge environmental cost. 6.7 million tonnes of food go to waste each year and if this was stopped it would be equivalent, in terms of carbon emissions, to taking 20% of all cars off the road.

Now it looks as though Tesco are trying to do something about the problem, with an announcement a few days ago of a BOGOF Later scheme. This will mean that shoppers are given a voucher entitling them to their free item at a later date. It is hoped that the new initiative will start in stores before Christmas.

Tesco are proud of their “green consumer revolution” citing their competitive prices on items such as low energy light bulbs and low impact washing powder as evidence that they mean business.

Friends of the Earth on the other hand are sceptical, with a spokesperson saying that if Tesco want to help the planet it will take more than replacing BOGOFS with BOGOFLS.

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Sainsbury’s starts bulb and battery collections

November 5, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Sainsbury’s has announced that it will become the first supermarket in the country to start recycling old batteries and energy-saving light bulbs at its stores, in a move that will be welcomed by green campaigners.

Sainsbury’s will team up with Recolight, a specialist light-bulb recycler that already collects bulbs from businesses across the country. The battery recycling will be dealt with by Valpak.

The move is well timed. Energy-efficient light bulbs are set to replace traditional bulbs by the end of 2012. They save a lot more energy and last longer, but disposing of them has been highlighted as a potential problem because of the mercury they contain.

The person in charge of environmental affairs at Sainsbury’s, Jack Cunningham, said that Sainsbury’s is “delighted to be the first national UK retailers to launch a co-collection scheme for both waste streams”. He also said that combining the collections into one would help to save on carbon emissions.

The scheme will initially be launched in five stores this December, but by the end of 2010 the collections should have been unrolled to a further 200 stores across the country. Both bulbs and batteries will be collected in specially designed containers with one flap for each.

The CEO of Recolight, Nigel Harvey, said that the new partnership is very exciting for the company. He also said that they are "committed to go beyond the legal minimums of the waste electrical and electronic regulations.”

The scheme will help a lot more people to recycle their old bulbs with ease as they become more common in homes across the country.

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