Tesco and Paltech collaborate to bring waste plastic flowerpot to the Irish market
25 April 2022
New Recycled Plastic Flowerpots Break the Mould
Tesco Ireland and indigenous manufacturing companies, Green Generation and Paltech, have today unveiled their flower planters made of 100% recycled soft plastic.
Tesco has a strong record in plastic waste recycling and in 2021 was the first Irish retailer to introduce in-store customer return collection points for soft plastics from product packaging.
This latest green innovation sees customer waste soft plastic taken to a purpose-built site in County Offaly where it’s cleaned, sorted and moulded into slate-grey flower planters. The new heavyweight pots, which are now on sale in Tesco stores nationwide, have an impressive durability and long lifespan and weigh 7 kilos each, and can also be further recycled at their end of life, through the Paltech unique process. Each planter can be used to grow garden plants and flowers* and in turn, improve biodiversity.
The recycled plastic pot, designed and made in Ireland, from 100% mixed plastic packaging, is the result of an innovative partnership with Paltech, a sister company of Tesco’s food waste partner, Green Generation. The Kildare company recently commissioned a new €2 million facility in Clara, County Offaly to manufacture recycled plastic products, including flowerpots. The facility, which employs 15 people, will recycle an estimated 70 tonnes of customer waste plastic to create 10,000 plant pots over the coming months.
Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity Pippa Hackett said: “This is a good example of the circular economy in action. I welcome the investment in Clara and the new jobs it brings. It is a tangible example of waste plastic being recycled into useful products. I hope as many shoppers as possible will think about how they can recycle their plastic waste. This offers an opportunity to do that at the point of sale.”
Joe Manning, Commercial Director, Tesco Ireland, said “When it comes to plastic, our priority remains to remove where we can, or reduce its use on our products when we can’t remove it completely. Where it serves a purpose, such as protecting a product or preventing food waste, we are working hard to ensure that the packaging material is recyclable for consumers and can go on to be used again.
Bringing these flowerpots to the market, made entirely from end-of-life waste soft plastic, is an important step in creating a closed loop solution for plastic at this time. We recognise we have more to do and continue to work hard to meet our target of making all packaging on Tesco-brand products fully recyclable by 2025.”
Paul Costello, Green Generation director, commented “We’re very proud to have worked with Tesco over the last year as we developed and refined our circular approach for mixed soft plastic waste, and to bring this product to the market under the Paltech brand. ‘
We continue to work with our engineers to improve our innovative system for long-life products to support the country’s ambition in reaching the EU recycling commitment of 55% of all packaging waste to be recycled by 2030,”
Using Paltech-patented technology, these waste soft plastics can be repurposed into construction materials that, in turn, have the scope to be used in the Tesco Ireland store network for new stores, and in store maintenance and refits including buildings, car-park barriers and signage in the near future.
The recycled plastic pots will be available for sale in 76 Tesco stores this April and will retail at €25. They will be available for sale throughout the Spring/Summer season.
Notes to Editors;
*Due to the recycled nature of the flowerpots, they contain BPA and should not be used to grow food stuffs, including herbs or produce.
Paltech (Polymer Alloy Technology) has developed their proprietary manufacturing solution through which mixed waste plastics (difficult to recycle) can be recycled. Through Enclosed Pressure Moulding (EPM), the company can flake and then mould waste plastic into heavy walled products such as poles, median motorway barriers and more.
To date, Tesco’s in store collection points have been made from waste plastic for its 152 stores across Ireland. Customers simply remove unwanted soft plastic packaging - such as cling wrap or outer wrap from water bottle multi-packs - at the end of their shopping trip. If customers leave behind hard, recyclable plastic packaging, such as multi-pack fresh produce packaging, which will be recycled as normal.
Tesco has been reducing the amount of soft plastics in use in its stores as part of its ambitious plastic reduction targets:
1.5 million pieces of plastic shrouds from multipack canned goods
359 tonnes of PVC and 40 tonnes of Polystyrene materials from product packaging
550 tonnes of plastic have been replaced with detectable and recyclable plastic on meat and produce.