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Boots launches blister pack recycling pilot

Image © Boots

Boots has introduced a blister pack recycling scheme in over 100 stores in London and South East of England, with plans to roll out the initiative to more stores across the UK in the next year.

Blister packs, which are made of plastic and foil and used for vitamins and medicines, cannot typically be recycled through household kerbside collections. Boots hopes this new initiative will enable millions of used blister packs to be recycled and diverted from landfill over the next few years.

The blister pack recycling scheme is an extension of the popular Recycle at Boots initiative, which rewards customers for bringing empty health and beauty products that cannot be recycled at home to collection bins at Boots.

Recycle at Boots collection bins are available at over 700 stores across the UK and over 3.1 million products have been recycled since it launched in 2020. 

Now, customers near participating stores can now drop off their used blister packs for recycling in dedicated collection bins and get rewarded for it. Boots Advantage Card holders will receive 150 Boots Advantage Card points when they recycle 15 empty blister packs and spend £10 or more in store.

The Recycle at Boots initiative is brand agnostic, meaning that customers can recycle blister packs from any brand and track their recycling, as long as they have a Boots Advantage Card.

Natalie Gourlay, head of ESG at Boots, said: At Boots we want to make it easy for our customers to make sustainable choices for a healthy planet – from the products they buy to how they dispose of the packaging once they have used them.

“Customers can now simply drop off their empty blister packs at Boots with the assurance that the materials will be given a second life and get rewarded for it too just like they can when they drop off other hard-to-recycle empties through Recycle at Boots. We will be taking the learnings of this initial pilot on board as we look to roll the scheme out more widely within the next year.”

Both this latest blister pack recycling scheme and wider Recycle at Boots initiative is run in partnership with technology partner Metrisk and recycling partner MYGroup. 

After the blister packs or health and beauty empties have been dropped off at Boots stores, they are sent to MYGroup to be separated using a specialised machine, the metal foil is recycled conventionally, as aluminium is infinitely recyclable, while the plastic is processed into a useable form again, where possible, or made into a material called MYBoardTM to be used for construction, furniture and more.

Furthermore, Boots is taking steps to reduce the amount of plastic in the products it sells. For example, in 2022 it banned plastic-based wet wipes from sale and called on other retailers to follow suit.

Discover why retailers, spanning a range of sectors, are changing their packaging for the good of the planet in the DeliveryX Packaging 2023 report. Access the full digital report for an exclusive interview with meal-kit company HelloFresh. And case studies on Boohoo, H&M and L’Occitane’s new approach to packaging.

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