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Tesco launches scheme to recycle clothes hangers

Retail giant Tesco has announced that it aims to prevent 1,000 tonnes of plastic going into landfill by recycling clothes hangers.

A special collection bin will be introduced in stores to encourage customers to leave behind unwanted coat hangers. The supermarket promises to reuse or recycle them all.

Clothing technical manager Alan Wragg said: Last year, we estimate that our customers took home over 150 million Tesco hangers. Although many of these will have been put to good use, we feared that a significant number ended up in the bin.

By letting our customers know that we will send their unwanted hangers back to our suppliers, we estimate that over 1,000 tonnes of plastic will be spared from landfill in the first year alone.
The scheme has been tested in five Tesco stores and the supermarket will roll out a national collection scheme.

The hangers will be returned to Tescos suppliers in Asia in containers that Tesco claim would
otherwise be travelling empty. The hangers will be reused and any damaged hangers will be ground down and recycled into new hangers. The initiative will contribute to Tescos target of cutting the packaging on its products by 25% by 2010.

Marks & Spencer has also embarked on a clothes hanger recycling initiative. It has announced in its interim Plan A 2008/2009 results that it has recycled over 70 million coat hangers so far this year. Other results show that Marks & Spencer has reduced food packaging, which is all recyclable, by 90% and is on track to increase the percentage of their construction waste which is recycled by 75 to 85%.

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