Office workers will never again feel guilty about throwing away their lunchtime packaging waste because of a new initiative with a food grade plastic recycler and Marks & Spencer.
Closed Loop Recycling (CLR) is working in conjunction with the retailer to provide a recycling service for offices across the UK to dispose of their lunchtime packaging.
The plan is to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and to fill a gap in the market for providing commingled recycling services for offices. M&S sells more sandwiches and lunchtime snacks than anyone else on the high street and the retailer has re-launched its Food to Go range to make the packaging 90% recyclable.
CLR is launching the scheme in London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester and hopes to roll it out to all regions by 2010. Offices who sign up to the service will get a mini bin to give to all staff. Staff will then put their lunchtime waste from these bins into one major bin that will be collected by CLR.
Managing director Chris Dow said: We will offer a commingled recycling bin and materials including cardboard, plastic, and cans can be collected. This will be a similar service to kerbside recycling for domestic systems. The main thing is to make it as easy as possible. All materials go to various recycling and reprocessing facilities in the UK.
Anything plastic that is recyclable can go into the recycling bin. It is not exclusive to one retailer, all waste will be collected.
M&S head of food packaging Helene Roberts added: As part of our Plan A eco-plan, we are committed to making it easier for our customers to choose greener options. We are all getting better at recycling from home, and this scheme now gives consumers an easy solution for getting rid of their food packaging at work.
The average cost for a 20 person office that would generate approximately five bags of waste per week, would be around £5 a week to join the scheme.
CLR plant is due to open at the end of June when it will recycle plastic packaging into new food grade packaging.
For more information see www.closedloopofficerecycling.co.uk
Image: MD Chris Dow