Sainsbury’s is getting rid of its remaining recycling centres. This will affect around 250 UK stores, The Times reported.
The major supermarket is said to have already started closing some of these points, which accept metal cans, glass, plastic and paper among other materials.
Many of the facilities are located in Sainsbury’s car parks, so shoppers could recycle at the same time as doing their shopping.
According to the publication, both locals and politicians hoped that the service would keep running.
This is despite the supermarket’s commitment to climate action. In 2021, GOV.UK reported that Sainsbury’s joined SSE, Sky, Scottish Power, NatWest Group and National Grid as Principal Partners for UN climate change summit, COP26.
Sainsbury’s website currently reads: “We care about our planet and the effect that both we, and our global suppliers, have on the environment. One of our core values is respect for our environment.
“We provide customer recycling (in the car park) in around 275 of our supermarkets and there are a further 100 which are council provided facilities on our car parks.
“We provide recycling for paper and card, mixed glass, batteries and textiles. Other materials that we collect on specific sites are – tetrapak cartons, small electricals, books.”
In some circumstances, customers can recycle electronics in stores, if the item meets certain criteria.
Under “sustainability”, Sainsbury’s website also reads: “We are also continuing our work on piloting Deposit Return Schemes with our reverse vending machines. Customers can recycle plastic, metal cans and glass drink containers in exchange for a 5p per item coupon towards their shopping.”
The Times understands that future closures will mean less than 250 sites being axed, suggesting at least 24 have already been axed.
A source in the waste industry said that while residents will still be able to recycle at council-run waste centres (which are a statutory requirement), the decision by Sainsbury’s “just makes life harder for consumers”.
They added that many large supermarket sites would have been granted planning approval partly because of the companies offering of recycling facilities.
On Facebook, customers have been enquiring about their local recycling centre. Samantha Shepherd posted on the Weoley Community page: “Has anyone been to Sainsbury’s in Northfield in last few days? Is the recycling centre for cardboard still there please?” She was informed by a few fellow Sainsbury’s shoppers that it has closed.
On the Waterloo Local Community Group, Mark Connolly asked: “Now that Sainsbury’s do not have a glass recycling area, where in Waterlooville can you recycle glass bottles etc now? The Household Recycling Centre off Hambledon Road does not accept glass.”
Beverly Paton reportedly posted photos of the “hideous mess” at the supermarket’s Canterbury store.
Express.co.uk has contacted Sainsbury’s for comment.