• The trial will see blister packs from Aldi's own-branded medicines recycled.
    The trial will see blister packs from Aldi's own-branded medicines recycled.

Aldi is working with recycling firm TerraCycle to trial a blister packs recycling scheme in its UK supermarkets, for its own-label medicines in what it describes as a "first”.

The supermarket giant says TerraCycle will convert the materials, which would otherwise be disposed of in general waste, into a recycled raw material that can then be used in the production of new products – such as nuts and bolts from the aluminium, or plastic waste bins and outdoor furniture.

The trial will run throughout the UK and, according Aldi, will help it assess customer demand for the recycling solution. Customers can send their empty blister packs via any Royal Mail Post Office or postbox in an envelope with a freepost shipping label, which can be accessed via the Aldi website.

Luke Emery, plastics and packaging director at Aldi UK, said, “We hope our customers will get involved in the trial and embrace this new way of recycling their empty blister packets.”

Julien Tremblin, general manager TerraCycle Europe, commented, “The removal of pharmaceutical packaging from landfill 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.”

Adam Herriott, senior specialist WRAP, said, “Blister packs are a product that cannot currently be recycled at the kerbside and are instead disposed of in general waste, so we fully support 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 results of the trial.”

The recent ABC series War on Waste featured blister packs, with host Craig Reucassel highlighting the hundreds of millions of the packs that go into Australian landfill each year by dumping wheelbarrows full of them in the reception areas of big pharmerceutical players in Macquarie Park.

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