Aldi is first trialling a blister pack recycling scheme for its own-label medicines in a UK supermarket.
Britain’s fourth-largest supermarket is working with recycling firm TerraCycle to encourage customers to recycle empty medicine packets made from plastic and aluminium foil.
TerraCycle will convert the materials, which would otherwise be disposed of in general waste, into recycled raw material, which can then be used to produce new products, such as nuts and bolts from the aluminium or plastic waste bins and outdoor furniture.
The trial will help Aldi assess customer demand for the recycling solution. Aldi customers can send their empty blister packs via any Royal Mail Post Office or postbox in an envelope with a Freepost shipping label, accessed via the Aldi website.
Luke Emery, Plastics and Packaging Director at Aldi UK, said it was committed to reducing its environmental impact and continues looking for new ways to promote recycling wherever possible.
“We hope our customers will get involved in the trial and embrace this new way of recycling their empty blister packets,” said Emery.
Julien Tremblin, General Manager, TerraCycle Europe, said removing pharmaceutical packaging from landfills and incineration remains a key focus.
“We are delighted to work with Aldi on this new medicine blister pack recycling scheme, which will enable the creation of a more circular plastic packaging chain,” said Tremblin.
Adam Herriott, Senior Specialist, WRAP, stated that blister packs are a product that cannot currently be recycled at the kerbside and are instead disposed of in general waste, so WRAP fully supports this trial.
“Being able to recycle this type of packaging into raw material, which can then be used for new products, is something we and our UK Plastics Pact members are working hard to achieve on a range of difficult-to-recycle plastics. We look forward to seeing the trial results,” said Herriott.
Aldi was also the first supermarket member of the Podback recycling scheme, which helps customers recycle their used coffee, tea and hot chocolate pods.