Waitrose has recycled packaging materials such as cardboard and plastic from its shops and distribution centres for more than 20 years. In 2017 we recycled over 780 tonnes of plastic. 80% of our overall packaging is widely recyclable.

As part of our legal packaging obligation, Waitrose spends almost £1 million a year to help recycle consumer packaging. We also encourage customer recycling and our Waitrose shops offer recycling facilities for customers where feasible, the only limiting factors are space or local collection arrangements. As part of our commitment to encouraging customers to recycle, we provide recycling points for plastic carrier bags in Waitrose shops; our five Food & Home shops offer mobile phone recycling; and in 2010 we introduced battery recycling facilities in our shops.

Waitrose also supports websites Recycle Now and Recycle More that enable consumers to identify their nearest recycling centre and, importantly, the types of materials that can be recycled.

Working with WRAP, the British Retail Consortium and other leading retailers, we developed a standard on-pack recycling labelling scheme for packaging, which was launched in 2008. The initiative replaces the previous range of recycling symbols and messages with a single Recycle Now logo and an icon to indicate the recyclability of the packaging.

Recycling electrical equipment

Electrical and Electronic Equipment is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the UK, increasing by at least 5% each year. The public dispose of more than 1.2 million tonnes of waste every year in the UK, and landfill sites are now reaching full capacity. Much of this waste can be recycled, and the resources recovered to make new consumer goods. The WEEE regulations aim to reduce the quantity of electrical and electronic items disposed of in this way, and will encourage everyone to play a part in protecting our environment for future generations.

From 1 July 2007, the UK’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations allow members of the public to deposit old electrical and electronic items at recycling sites across the UK, free of charge.

To find your nearest recycling sites for waste electrical and electronic products, contact your local council, or visit Recycle More and type your postcode into the recycling bank locator.

As retailers of electrical and electronic products, both John Lewis and Waitrose fully support this regulation, and we have joined together with some of the UK’s leading electrical retailers to create and fund a new body - the Distributor Take-Back (DTS) scheme - which is helping to develop a new UK recycling network for waste electrical products.


Over the next three years, the scheme will make more than £10 million available to establish and upgrade recycling facilities across the UK, so that customers can conveniently recycle old electrical appliances.

For the latest information on waste and recycling at Waitrose and John Lewis visit The John Lewis Partnership.

Since 5 May 2009, the UK's Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations require those who manufacture, import or produce one tonne of batteries or those who place products containing batteries onto the UK market to be responsible for the collection, treatment and recycling of the waste batteries. In the UK, we use 600 million batteries every year - an average of 21 per household. In 2007 just 3% of batteries were being recycled, the rest were going to landfill. The UK is aiming to meet a target of 45% recycling of batteries by 2016.

Everything from AAA cells to mobile phone batteries and button cells used in hearing aids and watches, must be separated from household rubbish and placed into designated recycling bins in shops or other recycling points. Recycling facilities are available in all John Lewis and Waitrose stores.

Our buyers are also aware of how this legislation impacts the products they select, and all our own-brand products, which fall under the WEEE and batteries regulations are clearly identifiable with a crossed out wheelie-bin symbol. As a producer of electrical, electronic and battery-containing products, we are also members of producer compliance schemes that take responsibility for recycling batteries and waste electrical and electronic products.

Frequently asked questions

Why should I recycle my old electrical and electronic products?+

How can I recycle my old electrical and electronic products?+

How will I know whether the new products I buy can be recycled?+

Will John Lewis and Waitrose accept my old electrical and electronic items back in-store?+

Will John Lewis still offer a collection service for large electrical products?+

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