Ocado pays 5p per plastic bag returned by customers

Ocado is to pay 5p for every plastic bag returned by customers as the online retailer restarts a recycling scheme.

In a blessed relief for shoppers who are drowning in the firm’s trademark grey bags after months of deliveries, Ocado drivers will be able to collect up to 99 carriers when they drop off goods.

Customers will have to place their unwanted bags into a single bag and let the driver know how many are being handed back so a refund can be arranged under the scheme, which starts on Monday.

Ocado shoppers have been charged up to 5p per bag used in deliveries since last summer as part of efforts to cut waste. They will now be able to reclaim this charge. 

The company said: “Our hope is that this restarted process continues to help you and the environment, all at once. And if it means you save a little space at home too, well, then all the better.”

Plastic bags from other chains will also be collected, but customers will only be refunded for Ocado bags returned.

The used bags are sent to a recycling plant where they turned into are pellets used to make new bags.  

The move comes as Ocado continues to benefit from virus-induced “stay at home” orders. 

Last month it reported that total sales soared by a third to £2.3bn for the year to November. The business posted pre-tax losses of £44m, down from £215m last year.

This strong retail performance was offset by increased investment in its robot warehouse technology business, as well as spending on hiring more staff and retooling its website to cope with the surge in demand.

Ocado shares fell 1.7pc to £21.01 in afternoon trading, valuing the company at £15.7bn.

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