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Retailers Back National Campaign to Boost Recycling

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC), has today voiced its support for National Recycling Week.

Director of the SRC, Fiona Moriarty, said: "Retailers in Scotland are fully supportive of measures being

taken by the Scottish Executive and other organisations to secure a sustainable environment for Scotland, and one of areas that must be improved is our rate of recycling.

"The Scottish Executive has set high targets for levels of recycling which we must meet if we are going to build a sustainable future. Retailers and suppliers have introduced a wide range of measures to reduce the levels of packaging that consumers take home with them, for instance by reducing the weight of cans containing food and the amount of glass in a beer bottle.

"Retailers recognise that reducing the amount of packaging we use actually is not only good for the environment but good for cutting our costs.

"Alongside the gradual steps being taken by retailers, consumers need to play their role by recycling packaging such as plastic bags, cans and bottles.

"It is very important that a strong message is communicated to consumers via all possible means that our environment is only as good as we make it, so we must take individual responsibility for our own impact on the environment and take steps to mitigate this impact".

Case study:

Dixons Group plc: Innovation in carrier bag design and manufacture

The Packaging Regulations require businesses to understand the amount and types of packaging they use. Businesses have consumption-related recovery and recycling obligations to meet each year. Improving bag design and increasing the recycled content of carrier bags are two important ways to reduce the environmental impact of packaging

Reduction of weight of carrier bags

In 2002 Dixons Group altered the design of its carrier bags in order to reduce the amount of material used per bag. The total weight of the old specification bags (based on use in 2001) was reduced by these changes from 690 tonnes a year to 428 tonnes a year - a saving of 262 tonnes of plastic. This was achieved without impacting upon the strength of the bag.

New 100% recycled carrier bags

Now, the Dixons Group is pioneering the use of new 100% recycled carrier bags and these are already available in the Currys and Dixons XL chains. The bag is the first product to be widely available from a branded retailer.

The new bags are made in the UK from waste generated in the UK. Their production supports British industry and innovation and helps address local waste management concerns. The bags contain 100% post consumer plastic waste, saving valuable non-renewable resources and reducing the need for landfill or other disposal.

The manufacturer carefully screens and segregates the waste polythene used to make the bags, guaranteeing a good quality and consistent product. Every tonne of bags made saves the equivalent of 1.8 tonnes of oil.

The new 100% recycled carrier bags represent Dixons Group’s second major design change in recent years. The changes harness technological developments in bag production and recycling as well as responding pro-actively to environmental considerations.




Scottish Executive link

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