Sainsbury's to scrap all customer recycling centres

The closures come two years after Sainsbury's was one of the main sponsors of COP26. Credit: PA

By Olivia Mustafa, ITV News Trainee

Sainsbury's has confirmed it will bin off all of its remaining recycling points at stores across the UK - despite the supermarket's claim it wants to make recycling "easy" for customers.

The facilities are often in found store car parks and give customers the chance to recycle everyday household waste - including cardboard, paper, glass bottles and tins - during their shopping trip.

Customer recycling is currently provided in the car parks of 275 Sainsbury's supermarkets nationwide.

The supermarket giant is yet to announce the change, but a spokesperson confirmed the move to ITV News.

"We want to focus on the areas where we can make the biggest difference and support our customers in their efforts to help the planet," said a Sainsbury's spokesperson.

"As recycling of materials such as glass and cardboard is available from home with local councils, we’re prioritising services at our stores that people cannot get elsewhere."

A group of Liberal Democrat councillors said the bins in Manor Park, Newcastle, have vanished "against the wishes of councillors and the local community."

The supermarket giant said customers can still recycle flexible plastic packaging including crisp packets and cake wrappers in store, as well as carrier bags, clothes hangers and batteries.

Sainsbury's also said it donates around 5,000 tonnes of clothing every year through Oxfam donation banks located in over 340 store car parks.

The decision has raised concerns it may make recycling less accessible, or lead to increased fly tipping.

Daniel Webb, founder of campaign group Everyday Plastic, said, "This move places more reliance on kerbside recycling which already has limitations.

"We’d also be very interested to hear exactly why they are choosing to focus their efforts on soft, flexible plastic when we know it is very hard to recycle."

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