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Supermarket sees recycling soar

Sainsbury’s has revealed that its trial recycling banks installed at six London stores led to an increase of 13% of customers recycling.

The supermarket highlighted its 2005/06 achievements in its 2006 corporate responsibility report published this week. These included: increasing the number of stores catering for plastic recycling from 59 to 80, securing a grant of £20,000 from Envirowise to help lightweight glass jars, reducing the amount of waste packaging on its own-brand Easter eggs by 40%, launching compostable packaging, and introducing two new reusable shopping bags.

But while Sainsbury’s said its ‘Bag for Life’ was selling at a rate of 120,000 a week, it said its carrier bag usage rose by 2.5% in 2005/06 but stated this was “significantly below” its sales growth in the same period.

It plans to continue to extend its range of reusable bags, its most recent addition being a ‘Fold-a-Shopper’ bag designed to take up minimum space.

The supermarket also wants to increase the number of packaged products that are compostable in its ‘So Organic’ range, but said supplies of this form of packaging remained limited, and it was keen to grow the market.

Its stores recycled 6,893 tonnes of plastic and 119,483 tonnes of cardboard in 2005/06, up from 2004/05 figures of 5,000 tonnes and 118,000 tonnes respectively.

Following the success of its Government-funded recycling bank trial, it said it would be funding its own recycling bank service at 50 London sites in 2006/07.

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