High Street and Supermarket Recycling Schemes

With a wave of consciousness beginning to filter its way onto the high street, more and more are we seeing schemes in place to prompt recycling. From supermarket recycling bins to schemes with generous rewards. Lowering waste is no longer something you have to go out of your way to do. The chances of your local supermarket or high street having ways you can recycle are now very high.

Today I am going to speak about a few handy initiatives I have both seen and use regularly, in the UK. There is plastic bag recycling, makeup recycling and even a new addition I found lately shoe recycling. There are so many now it is genuinely fantastic to see!

Orange plastic bag recycling bin, with text overlay "Recycle your plastic bags at Sainsburys.
A rather faded Plastic Bag Recycling bin at Sainsburys.


Sainsbury’s Plastic Bag Recycling – A recycling bin I often use is the plastic bag recycling bin at Sainsbury’s. Found at many supermarkets, they recycle all kinds of plastic bags. You can check the back of food bags for the logo below too:

Look out for ‘Recycle with bags at large supermarkets’ on the back of food bags.

Terracycle – The recycling programme Terracycle is run by volunteers around the globe and can be found in numerous supermarkets. They have recycling bins taking all kinds of household waste, from crisp packets to plastic bottles. You can find what is on offer in your local area on their website.

Aldi & Coop Soft Plastics Bin – Both Aldi and Coop has recently launched a soft plastic bin, where you can recycle a whole host of plastic. This includes plastic bags, bread bags and such.

Marks & Spencer Soft Plastic Bin – M&S have recently introduced a soft plastics bin that recycles a whole plethora of plastics you can’t at home. This includes crisps packets, food pouches and even the plastic film off the top of ready meals – impressive!

High Street

Schuh Shoe Recycling – The shoe retailer has recently launched a new shoe recycling scheme. You can recycle any brand of shoe and, in partnership with Recyclatex Group, promise to recycle approximately 98% of all components and materials. In return, you receive a £5 off voucher to spend in-store.

Circular sticker on glass, with high street shoe shop in background. Circular sticker reads "Recycle your shoes here" with "£5 off" in centre.
Shoes Recycling at Schuh!

Primark & H&M Clothes and Material Recycling – Avoiding the bad implications both fast-fashion retailers have, in terms of recycling unwanted garments, this is most definitely the better option. This speaking in comparison to the garments ending up in landfill! Both retailers recycle most garments and materials, therefore it’s definitely worth using.

Superdrug Blister Pack Recycling – You can now recycle medicine blister packs at Superdrug Pharmacy. It isn’t available at all Superdrug stores, so to find out which Superdrug offer the recycling bin you can check the store locater here.

L’Occitane Cosmetic Recycling – In association with Terracycle, the beauty and skincare company has introduced a recycling bin which accepts products from any brand. I noticed in the store they had lots of refillable and plastic cutting incentives, which is very impressive. You also receive a discount on products in-store, should you use the service.

Dunelm Textile Recycling – The homeware shop are now collecting “clean and undamaged home textiles” to be recycled, including duvets, bedsheets and towels. Not all stores offer this, with ‘Edit’ stores exempt, find out more here.

Recycling Found in both Supermarket AND High Street

Maybelline Makeup Recycling – I previously mentioned the Maybelline makeup recycling, having used it numerous times since it was introduced. You’re able to recycle any brand of makeup in these bins, found in Superdrug, Boots as well as most supermarkets. It’s a great scheme, which is proving very popular. The ‘Make-up Not Make Waste’ campaign launched in 2020 and can now be found across the country.

Battery Recycling: Asda, Wilko & many more! Many high street shops and supermarkets often have handy little bins next to their tills offering battery recycling. Throwing batteries in the bin is incredibly dangerous, therefore also dispose of responsibly, in bins such as these.

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