Sustainability | Store Waste

We're helping you cut your waste

We know it can be tricky to cut down on waste, so we’re looking at finding as many ways as possible to help you out. Here’s just a few of the things we’re doing, helping you do your bit for the environment…



Batteries

In the UK, we only recycle about 5% of all household batteries. The rest end up in landfill where harmful chemicals leak into the soil, affecting the environment. We’ve now got special recycling bins in our supermarkets, so give us your used batteries and we’ll make sure they’re taken care of properly.

Clothes

Every year in the UK people buy around 2 million tonnes of clothes and throw away around 1.2 million tonnes. A lot of energy and water is needed to make clothes, and a lot of waste is created when they are thrown away to landfill.

We now have clothes recycling bins at our store, which means it’s easier for you to drop off any unwanted clothes. These go to charities like the Salvation Army and Children in Need, and last year we raised an amazing £606,500 for the Salvation Army, and £448,000 for Children in Need.

Even clothes that aren’t good enough to be worn again still have a use. They can be turned into fibres and made into new things, like mattresses and blankets. We’re proud to say that 100% of George clothes returned to Asda are diverted from landfill, and they support two important projects – the New Life Foundation supporting disabled and terminally ill children here in the UK, and also the HER project supporting women’s health and wellbeing in Bangladesh.

Carrier bags

Carrier bags are a hot topic for most supermarkets, and one we know you care about. When they end up in waste, they take hundreds of years to decompose.

We’ve signed up to the government’s voluntary agreement to cut the use of our carrier bags. Our colleagues are on hand to help you out by reminding you in store. And if you have your shopping home delivered, you can hand the bags back to our drivers. We also have recycling units at our stores for when they reach the end of their life.

Cardboard

We’re cutting waste all across the business – and we want to help you too. As well as cutting our on-shelf packaging by 27%, we’ve made 92% of this recyclable. In 2010 we recycled 168,000 tonnes of cardboard (that’s equivalent to about 3,000 trees) at our regional Asda Service Centres (ASCs).

Cans

Every year in the UK, we use around 12 billion cans – that’s enough to stretch to the moon and back! By recycling just one can, you can save enough to power a TV for 3 hours. Aluminium is the most cost-effective material to recycle because the energy savings are huge – up to 95% compared to making brand new aluminium. Recycling steel cans is another great thing to do because steel can be recycled again and again without any loss of quality.

Your recycled drinks cans get turned into all kinds of things, from window frames and furniture to trains, paper clips and wheelchairs. We’ve got recycling points at our stores so that you can drop off your cans on your way to the weekly shop.

Posted in Sustainability | Store Waste on 21 February 2011