British retail group Sainsbury's has contracted Dutch recycler Schoeller Allibert BV to reprocess all of its old food crates back into food-grade container.
The deal will see some 2 million of the supermarket's crates recycled by Schoeller Allibert of Hardenberg, the Netherlands, at one of its facilities in Spain, Germany or the Netherlands. Although the crates have been recycled in the past this is the first time they will be reprocessed back into a food-grade material.
Ludo Gielen, chief marketing and innovation officer at Schoeller Allibert, said: “When food-grade crates need replacing due to age or damage, they can be returned to one of our three European Food Safety Authority-approved facilities for recycling.
“Providing they have been used in a closed or controlled loop distribution system, which allows traceability of provenance, we can recycle used [high density polyethylene] and [polypropylene] material and mold into new crates for use in the food and fresh produce supply chain.”
Simon Stokoe, senior strategy manager for Sainsbury's supply chain, added: “This piece of work was not only about making the right decision for Sainsbury's from an efficiency perspective — it was also about making sure we did it sustainably. A win-win.”