Recycle plastics # 1,2, and 3 at Tesco

Filed in Blog by on July 12, 2010 16 Comments
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recycle plastic codes 1, 2 and 3 at tesco

recycle plastic codes 1, 2 and 3 at tesco

You might remember our star family, Sian, Chris and their 4 boys, who went from one wheelie bin of waste per fortnight to just 800 grammes.

Well it seems Sian is getting to be a bit of a letter writer too!

She wrote to her local Tesco in Quedgely, Gloucestershire to see what types of plastic she could recycle

Here is the response she had

We can currently only take Type 1 (PET), Type 2 (HDPE) and Type 3 (PVC) plastics for recycling.

Other plastic codes (Types 4-7) cannot currently be recycled and we cannot accept them.

If it does not have a number inside it, it cannot be recycled under this scheme and needs to be put in with your normal refuse”.

“Please note: We cannot take black and brown plastic such as Tango bottles, cider bottles and ready meal trays. This is because this type of plastic cannot be re-dyed during the remanufacturing process”.

“Examples of types 1,2 & 3, which are acceptable – plastic drinks bottles, fabric conditioner, bleach, shampoo, toiletries, squash bottles”.

“Examples of types 4-7, which are not acceptable – fruit & vegetable punnets, yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, ice cream tubs, meat trays, polystyrene”.

Well I learned something new! I’ve never heard of type 3 (PVC) being recyclable ANYWHERE before. I’m not even sure I know what I would expect to find in PVC packaging. So this is good news, one more plastics code that is widely recycled at Tesco stores.


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (16)

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  1. Jane says:

    Are you sure that PVC isn’t included just because it is one of the three plastics that bottles are made out of? In order to initially simplify instructions to the public we were told only to recycle plastic bottles (so reducing the number of types of plastic) BUT many other containers are now made out of PET in particular as progress has been made in recycling this plastic in this country. The recycling industry I read this morning is calling out for more plastic PET bottles to be recycled. We still need to call for all packaging to be clearly identified with signs that don’t need a magnifying glass to read!

  2. Ben says:

    I’ve found a few vinyl bottles, detergents (brown dettol liquid I think?) and squash in the past. I don’t think it’s very commonly used though.

    I still am unable to find anywhere that recycles plastic pots/trays locally however, so I mostly try to avoid them at the moment.

  3. Poppy says:

    We’re still on ‘any bottle that previously held a liquid’. BUT ….. stand back ….. big fanfare for Tewkesbury who now take yoghurt pots, fruit punnets, food tubs, ice-cream tubs, trays, Tetra-Pak style food and drink cartons, paerback books, metal sweet and biscuit tins, greetings cards, and wrapping paper in their blue recycling bins!

    I know there is still quite a lot of oppostion to MRF collections, but I think it’s going to have to be the way forward.

    Mmmmm, think I may be visiting my mum with a few contributions to her bin 🙂

  4. Jane says:

    I have seen shampoo bottles made out of PVC but there seems to be less of this plastic around.

    I would like to see plant pots being recycled or alternative packaging for the herb plants which are sold alongside the vegetables in the supermarket. (I know I know I should be growing them and because of the packaging I gave them up for the winter – but I use so much.)

    At one time there was talk of a garden centre chain taking them back but I can’t find any more information on that.

    Although bottles are recycled in this country – see – an interesting website much of the mixed stuff I understand is sent abroad in particular to China as it is so difficult/costly to sort here.

    Everyone has their own agenda regarding the information they are willing to give you. I was told that the brown plastic could not be identified by the very expensive sorting machines. Much sorting is still done by hand here.

  5. I’ve never heard of resin code 3 plastic being recycled on the doorstep/at recycling collection points either – good news if it’s true.

    I’m a little sceptical because they follow that up with “Other plastic codes (Types 4-7) cannot currently be recycled”. …Really? I’ve heard of various councils collecting one or more of 4, 5 and 6. Maybe they mean they can’t recycle it locally and that’s why they don’t collect it…

  6. Ann says:

    I saw that re Tewkesbury in the local paper last night. However, we have not been notified officially of this.
    Poppy has your Mother had notification from TBC? Good though, very useful.

    We have been taking fruit containers, coleslaw pots (the see through type) and butter containers to the big machine at Tesco in Brockworth and it takes them

  7. Jane says:

    What you never know is what someone’s definition of ‘recycling’ is. I know that a lot of mixed plastics is collected and then re-sorted and I wonder if just the bottles are then taken out and the rest is disposed of in whatever way they feel like dealing with it… including incineration (not what I call ‘recycling’ but I suppose better than landfill).

    PET is definitely important to put into the recycling as apparently the recycling companies want more:

    What we do need to do is to keep asking for packaging to be identified by the manufacturers, and to keep looking at the packaging we receive on the goods we buy (or don’t buy).

  8. Poppy says:

    Questions have been asked about the destination for these plastics, but I haven’t as yet had any real answers. I think we need to push harder on this to find out, but I suspect there will be a lot of flannel answers before we get to know the whole story.

  9. Poppy says:

    Answers so far are –

    It’s sorted into 3 grades

    1. Milk bottles are made into high quality pipes for gas /water etc,

    2. Clear plastics are made into fibre to make clothing /fleeces and carpets can be died to any colour.

    3. Coloured plastics are made into Pallet strapping, fibre for carpets and clothing. However, mixed coloured plastics can only be made into black products.

    My next question was … where? I’m waiting for the answer on that one.

  10. Mrs Green says:

    @Jane: @Ben: I’ve not really noticed anything made from PVC here. LIke Ben says, I don’t think it was a very popular choice of material for every day items.
    Regarding plant pots; it’s the Wyevale chain that were recycling them.

    @Poppy: I’m so excited about this new Tewks collection, Poppy and fingers crossed it spreads across the county soon! I’m currently trying to find out where the yogurt pots and margarine tubs are going to see if this might be another company we could hook up with for postal deliveries.

    @Louisa @ RecycleThis: Hi Louisa; I have checked myself with Tesco and it is true that they collect #3
    I know what you mean about the rest of the information though; it’s a bit hazy 😉

    @Ann: Hi Ann, oh do let us know first hand how the new collections work out for you! And great that you can recycle so many things locally; this should make a real difference to landfill waste.

    @Poppy: Nice work, Poppy – are these answers from Tewks council or Tesco? I’m a bit lost now as we seem to have 2 conversations going on LOL! Keep us updated.

  11. Poppy says:

    @Mrs Green: Those answers were from a member of Tewks Borough Council.

    He hasn’t come back to me with an answer tp the ‘where?’ part yet,

  12. Mrs Green says:

    @Poppy: ok, cool. Well I’ve asked the same question via a different route, so we can compare answers 😉

  13. Gill healey says:

    Just bought Christmas cards from Next and these are packed in PVC type 3 plastic

  14. Mrs Green says:

    @Gill healey: Morning Gill; thanks for the heads up on this; it’s good to hear how more and more companies are putting recycling information on their packaging

  15. Sally says:

    I’m looking at this in 2014 – My dog toys are made of vinyl (I think, 3). He has lots that he has finished with. Is it still possible to recycle ‘3’ in Gloucester? Anywhere else?

  16. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Sally
    Welcome to the site. I’m not sure of the up to date information. If it were me I think I’d call Tesco, The HWRC in Hempsted and Gloucestershire council for advise. If you get a favourable answer I know I and other readers would appreciate it!
    Best of luck

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