UK’s first biscuit wrapper recycling drive launched

19 June 2012

Biscuit manufacturer United Biscuits which produces McVitie’s has launched a recycling scheme for biscuit wrappers, the first of its kind in the UK.

The company has partnered with multinational recycling firm TerraCycle to introduce the scheme, which will see McVitie’s pay for material to be posted to the recycling firm, as well as a charity donation for each wrapper received.

McVities has partnered with TerraCycle to offer biscuit wrapper recycling

McVities has partnered with TerraCycle to offer biscuit wrapper recycling

TerraCycle receives the material at its transfer station in Croydon, where it is then sent to UK recycling firms to be reprocessed and used to produce items such as park benches and paving.

Income received from material recovered through the process is retained by TerraCycle.


The company claims to specialise in materials for which there is little or no local authority collection infrastructure and according to a company spokesman, ‘for which people see no value.’ It already runs similar collection schemes for pens, coffee packaging, yoghurt pots and baby wipe packaging.

A spokesperson for McVitie’s told that the company had not looked at collection schemes involving local authorities and currently had no plans do so, but said that the company hoped the scheme would encourage councils to look at alternative collection schemes.

Chris Baker, general manager of TerraCycle UK said: “We are delighted that such an iconic brand as McVitie’s is partnering with us to take ownership of what happens to used biscuit wrappers in the UK. With McVitie’s support we are confident that we can reach people across the UK and encourage them to work with us to make a real difference.”


In order to recycle biscuit packaging, consumers are required to register on the TerraCycle website, where they can then send off for pre-paid packaging to return their wrappers, as well as being able to nominate a charity to which a donation of  two pence per wrapper received will be sent.

Vicki Gregory, marketing controller for McVitie’s, said: “United Biscuit’s is delighted to be able to offer consumers a solution that allows them, for the first time in the UK, to recycle biscuit wrappers. This innovative scheme not only ensures that biscuit wrappers are reused, it also helps to protect the environment whilst helping the public to raise funds for their favourite charity.

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“We are encouraging retailers and consumers across the UK, who love biscuits, to set up a collection point and help us to save as many biscuit wrappers from landfill as possible, making a difference to both their local environment and raising money for worthy causes.”

TerraCycle’s recycling approach has recently won praise from Defra’s climate, waste and atmosphere director Colin Church, who highlighted their work in his speech to delegates at the CIWM conference last week (see story).

And a note from Talking Shop…. We could collect wrappers at the market. Let us know if you’d like us to do that and if you’d be interested in helping to coordinate it. Thanks. Abi