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Boots launches blister pack recycling pilot that rewards customers

20 February 2024
News CSR
  • Boots expands its popular Recycle at Boots scheme to include a blister pack recycling pilot
  • Boots has put dedicated collection bins in over 100 stores in London and South East England initially and will roll out to more stores across the UK in the next year
  • Advantage Card holders will receive 150 points when they recycle 15 empty blister packs and spend £10 in store*
  • Used blister packs will be turned into construction material and furniture by MYGroup

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

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.

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.

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.

Blister Pack Recycling point

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.”

The new blister pack recycling scheme is part of the wider Recycle at Boots initiative, which is delivered using technology partner Metrisk and recycling partner MYGroup. 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. To recycle blister packs, customers must:

  1. Create an account with Scan2Recycle, or login to their existing account
  2. Log empty blister packs into Scan2Recyle and wait for up to 24 hours until they are validated
  3. Bring their empty packs into a participating Boots store and scan the QR code on the blister pack deposit box

To receive a reward of 150 Advantage Card points, customers must scan 15 empty blister packs in one deposit and spend £10 in store. If they are depositing other hard-to-recycle health and beauty empties through Scan2Recycle, they will be rewarded 500 Advantage Card points when they scan five products and spend £10 in store.

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.

Steve Carrie, Group Director at MYGroup, said: “We’re proud to announce this landmark scheme with Boots, taking our unique circular solution for blister pack recycling further into the mainstream. Thanks to our longstanding partnership with Boots, we already have the relationships, expertise and reach in place to recover such a widespread waste item at scale as the scheme rolls out.”

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. Blister pack collection bins are available at over 100 Boots stores initially and will be rolled out more widely in the next 12 months. 

Another way Boots is also helping customers to make more sustainable choices is through its Be More Edit, which makes it easy to find sustainable swaps to their usual health and beauty purchases. The Be More Edit categorises products into plastic-free, recycled, re-usable, vegan and cruelty free. Boots is also 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.

Find out more about how Boots is taking steps to reduce its impact on the environment – or it’s ‘Bootprint’ – here.

*Earn 150 points when you spend £10 or more, when recycling a minimum of 15 empty blister packs through the Boots Scan2recycle app. Full terms & conditions can be viewed on boots.scan2recycle.com/terms. Normal Advantage Card terms & conditions apply.

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For more information, please contact: bootsESG@thepharmglobal.com

 

About Boots:

Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty destinations. *

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks the 175th anniversary of Boots. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain and Jesse’s wife Florence was integral to establishing Boots as a beauty destination. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated and continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on boots-uk.com.

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023

About MYGroup:

MYGroup is a leading-edge, disruptive waste management and recycling business, calling upon a series of advanced technologies and processes to ‘recycle the unrecyclable’.

The company aims to ‘close the loop’ on all types of waste and is opposed to landfill and incineration. MYGroup provides a cost-effective, end-to-end collection, processing and recycling service, accredited and certified for a full spectrum of waste, from agricultural, construction, clinical and hazardous, to cosmetics, food, textiles and plastic. 

Established for over 30 years, MYGroup is trusted by some of the largest brands and organisations in the UK to process up to 800,000 tons of waste a year, fully in-house and through transparent procedures across four state-of-the-art facilities in Yorkshire. 

MYGroup's ReFactory™ team specialises in separating, remanufacturing and upcycling waste materials, including blister packs, into new products. This includes the company’s MYboard™, similar in consistency to plywood and used widely for construction, joinery, shop and event fittings, as well as to manufacture furniture for use in commercial and community settings, such as benches and desks for schools. More company information is available on at MYGroupltd.com. 

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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on boots-uk.com.

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023