World-first recycling scheme to debut at Wiltshire Farm Foods in Chesterfield

Wiltshire Farm Foods’ customers in Chesterfield will be able to take part in the world’s first ‘closed loop’ recycling scheme as the business creates a system to reuse its meal delivery trays.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 3:54 pm

The company which specialises in meal delivery has pledged to make a difference to the planet by launching a new recycling scheme which is the first of its kind in the world.

Wiltshire Farm Foods which has a base in Coney Green Business Centre in Clay Cross has introduced recyclable trays, alongside a recycling collection service for its customers – where washed, used meal trays are collected directly from customers and then sent to a specialist recycling facility in Durham.

The used trays are broken down to create new ones which are then redistributed to customers and the closed loop nature of the process makes the firm the first to adopt the scheme on an industrial scale.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Wiltshire Farm Foods delivery driver Brett Barnard collects recycled trays from customer.

Chesterfield branch manager Craig Ashcroft said he is delighted the initiative is being rolled out to customers in the town and across the Peak District.

He said: “Not only is the scheme easy for our customers to be a part of, as they simply hand their trays back to their drivers, just like the milkman used to take away empty bottles, we have also given them peace of mind that they know exactly where their trays are going.

"We are hopeful that our customers will embrace this initiative, so that together we can play a crucial role in helping the environment.”

A survery conducted by plastics recycling charity Recoup found that 61% of UK plastic recycling is exported.

Customer Lilah Fennell holding her recycled ready meal tray.

Wiltshire Farm Foods have guaranteed that every tray collected from its customers in North East Derbyshire and across the UK will be recycled into new trays, keeping the products in use rather than disposing of them.

The company prides itself on not using secondary packaging such as cardboard sleeves on its ready meals to prevent wastes and the boxes the meals are delivered in also taken away by the drivers and recycled.

Chair and ceo of apetito UK and North America Paul Freeston said sister company, Wiltshire Farm Foods, is focused on targeting a ‘zero-packaging’ ready meal.

“As a food company, we’ve taken a serious approach when it comes to reducing waste with our packaging”, he added.

"It’s why we’ve never used cardboard sleeves for our meals, so the only thing we leave with the customer is the film lid.

"We think it’s time for other retailers to ditch the cardboard sleeve completely, so that, together, we can minimise household recycling requirements and prevent unnecessary waste.”

Mrs Bedworth, 86, who is one of the business’ customers, has applauded the scheme. She said: “It’s fantastic to know that I’m doing my bit to help the environment and Wiltshire Farm Foods has made it so easy for me.

"I can just hand the used trays back to my lovely driver, Nichol, and look forward to my meals the following week, safe in the knowledge that nothing has gone to landfill.

“Nichol tells me that for every 100 trays recycled we’ll be saving the equivalent of boiling water for 175 cups of tea!

"When he put it like that, it made me feel very proud I was doing my bit for the environment.”

Support your Derbyshire Times by becoming a digital subscriber. You will see 70 per cent fewer ads on stories, meaning faster load times and an overall enhanced user experience. Click here to subscribe.