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Chair of our Greener Care Special Interest Group, Elaine Mead wants to share her experience of recycling everyday products.

“Small steps may appear unimpressive, but don’t be deceived. They are the means by which perspectives are subtly altered, mountains are gradually scaled, and lives are drastically changed.” ? Richelle E. Goodrich

“Something amazing has happened to our supermarkets.  It started for me with an email to the Jason Tarry CEO of Tesco UK asking why I had dozens of products with labels that said “not yet recycled” in my cupboards from Tesco.  Their comms team were ready for my question and gave a fulsome response about what they were planning to do in the future about some of these ‘soft plastics’, when something else happened.  The Co-op advertised on national television that you could now deposit ‘sort plastics’ in any of their large shops, even if they were not co-op products.  They also mentioned food pouches, and as my two cats eat me out of house and home every week the number of pouches in my black bin bag were causing me some distress.  Lo and behold yes there was a facility, albeit very modest, in our local co-op where you could place your ‘soft plastics’, crisp bags and animal food pouches.  Hooray.  I deposited my collection and went straight to Tesco to ask about their facilities.  They looked bemused.  Locally they had no idea what I was talking about, and suggested that I just recycled my plastic carrier bags at the front door.  Wind forward four weeks.  I hear on the television Morrisons supermarkets offering to recycle ‘soft plastics’ in their stores.  I go back to Tesco and at last they have heard what their customers want!  Here is the photographic evidence of recycling opportunities at our local store, and of course other stores are available.  It is over to us now as customers to use the facilities and make them do more.  Please wash and recycle your animal food pouches, crisp bags, bread wrappers, dry food packets and even your clingfilm.  Take it in a recyclable bag and put it into their facilities at the stores and thank Mr Tesco (and everyone else) for hearing the voice of the customer.” – Elaine Mead (Executive Director of Improvement, Care and Compassion, IC&C) Chair of Greener Care SIG.



It didn’t take much for Elaine to help make this change at Tesco happen. And you can make a difference too!

Get involved with National Recycle Week and share a post on social media pledging to make small changes to reduce, reuse, recycle and tag us on Twitter @IHM_Tweets. You could also share resources, links to products that you use that are environmentally friendly, or share case studies about organisations that are being more sustainable.

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