Budgens Fighting Plastic

Budgens Fighting Plastic

Sweeney’s Budgens plans to be at the forefront of stopping single use plastics. Hopefully you will have seen some of our first steps in store, but there is much more to come.
1. Recycling
We have introduced recycle bins at the front of the store.There are now individual bins ready to receive different packaging materials:
a) Batteries: Budgens has been recycling batteries for many years now. When batteries rot away in landfill sites the chemicals from them may leak into the ground, which can cause soil and water pollution. This bin is in association with Terracycle.
b) Fruit and veg packaging: clear plastic packaging can be removed by customers once they have passed through the checkouts and we have separate bins to recycle this plastic and associated cardboard wrapping. This is only available for fruit and veg products currently.
c) CLEAN cling film: many people are desperate to recycle cling film but this can only be achieved through a bulk service. Customers can bring CLEAN cling film to the recycling bin in Budgens and it will be returned to the distribution depot.
d) Crisp packets: all brands of used crisp packets are cleaned and shredded, then turned into plastic pellets which are transformed into park benches, plant pots, watering cans and cool bags. This bin is in association with Terracycle.

2. Fruit and Vegetables
We stock a range of loose fruit and vegetables and have introduced paper bags to replace plastic bags. If customers get behind buying more loose fruit and veg, we will be able to expand the range even further. We would like to stock more but we are mindful about preventing food waste from unsold products.

3. Bakery
Most of the bread and cakes we ‘bake off’ in store are unpacked and likewise most of our Rex Bakery (not sliced) is sold without packaging. Recyclable paper bags are available for customers that require packaging. Again, we are investigating how to increase this unpacked range even further.

4. Meat and Black Plastic Trays
Our local farm shop, Kings Farm, has been at the forefront of tackling the use of the dreaded black tray packaging (which is often not recyclable). Kings Farm meat sold in Sweeney’s Budgens is now sold in new biodegradable trays.
The majority of ‘Farm Fresh’ and ‘Discover the Choice’ fresh meat is now sold in clear plastic trays that can be recycled.

5. Tea
96% of tea bags sold contains plastic. Brew Tea Co. packaging is fully recyclable, including the tea bag. Their tea bags are made from soilon and the clear inner bags are made from Nature Flex both of which can get recycled in your Food Waste Bin. Clipper are plastic free, un-bleached and no GM pillow tea bags. Tea Pigs are made from corn-starch and 100% biodegradable – you can pop them in with your food waste collection where they will break down within 12 weeks (best avoid putting them in home compost, as they do need high heat and pressure to break down – which won’t be met at home). They have also switched the inner plastic bag to a new wonder material called Natureflex which is made from wood pulp and suitable for home composting.

6. Plastic Water Bottles
We stock ‘CanO Water’. CanO Water is an infinitely recyclable alternative to plastic bottles. Recycle your can and it will be back on the shelf in as little as 6 weeks. The can is also refillable and resealable. In addition to this, customers can request for their reusable water bottles to be filled up in store. Larger size waters are available in glass bottles.

7. Cleaning Products
We stock ‘Method’ range of cleaning products. Not only is Method cruelty free and environmentally friendly, Method leads the industry in the use of 100% recycled plastic in their cleaning and hand wash packaging. Alongside this, we stock the well-known Ecover products and we are about to expand the range.

8. Prepared Meals and Black Plastic Trays
Cook has moved its kids’ meals from black plastic trays into easily recycled cardboard ones. Side dishes will follow imminently, and the two-portion meals change over later this year.
The Mediterranean Pie (Vegetarian) ready meals, made locally in Thame, have no black plastic trays.
Quorn (meat free) and Cauldron (vegan) also have clear plastic trays.

We have many more very exciting developments to reduce single use plastics, so be vigilant when you are in the shop.

Terri McGilip
Manager, Sweeney’s Budgens