UK Retailer Signs Deal with Centriforce

Recycler will collect more than 3,000 metric tons of plastics scrap from shops affiliated with John Lewis Partnership.

February 28, 2013
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations Plastics

The U.K.-based retailer John Lewis Partnership recently signed a contract with the plastics recycling company Centriforce Products, based in Liverpool, U.K., to hone the retailer’s strategy of boosting the collection and recycling of plastic scrap.

According to Centriforce, the arrangement will guarantee that thousands of metric tons of plastics scrap generated at shops affiliated with John Lewis will be recycled by Centriforce.

The contract is part of the John Lewis Partnership's strategy to streamline its waste contractors and keep complete control and responsibility for its waste flows, ensuring as much as possible is recycled.

The retailer adds that it also is exploring opportunities to reuse Centriforce products such as plastic planks, boards and sheeting in its new store construction programme to achieve a true 'closed loop' in its plastics waste stream.

It is estimated that Centriforce will collect more than 3,000 metric tons of plastics scrap from John Lewis and the company’s Waitrose distribution centers throughout the country each year and bring the waste to its Liverpool manufacturing center.

"We want to be completely transparent in our approach to waste management and ensure that as much as possible is recycled and then reused in our own businesses," says Mike Walters, manager of recycling and waste operations manager for the John Lewis Partnership. "We are committed to keeping ownership of our waste all the way to its final destination, rather than selling it to the highest bidder, or losing control over what happens to it.

Centriforce has capacity to recycle more than 20,000 metric tons of plastic scrap per year.

Through the program with Centriforce, all plastic scrap generated at John Lewis and Waitrose stores will be shipped to central distribution centers by returning delivery vehicles.

"We have had a policy of backhauling our waste through the space available in empty vehicles for a number of years. It provides the perfect starting point for recycling," adds Walters. "We have declared our aspiration to achieve zero waste to landfill with a diversion target of 95 percent by the end of 2013. Plastics waste plays an important role in that, but even more exciting is the possibility that it can be recycled into products we can use again."

The decision to take in all the plastic scrap generated by John Lewis follows Centriforce’s recent investment in its own mixed plastics sorting line, a facility vital to guarantee the processing capacity needed by the John Lewis Partnership.