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French supermarket Carrefour trials vouchers-for-recycling scheme

It will be trialled in six shops and offer vouchers for recycling items such as toothbrushes, pens, tights, frying pans, toys, and cooking pots

The recycling units will be found in the car parks of Carrefour stores, initially in six trial locations Pic: Defotoberg / Shutterstock

French supermarket Carrefour is set to offer customers vouchers if they bring in certain items for recycling.

From Friday (March 31), the retail giant will put recycling points at six of its stores across France in a trial that, if successful, is likely to be expanded.

Where will the recycling points be? 

They will be located (during this initial trial) in the car parks of the Carrefour stores at: 

  • Athis-Mons (Essonne)

  • Angoulins (Charente-Maritime)

  • Évreux (Normandy)

  • Laval (Mayenne)

  • Nice-Lingostière (Alpes-Maritimes)

  • Vaulx-en-Velin (Rhône).

The kiosks will allow customers to throw their used items into separate recycling containers. 

What items can be recycled?

Items you can recycle include:

  • Toothbrushes, toothbrush heads, and toothpaste tubes

  • Manual razors and shaving blades

  • Writing instruments (like pens and stationery)

  • Tights and tight-style socks

  • Games and toys

  • Frying pans and cooking pots

How will the items be recycled?

Recycling company TerraCycle will pick up the items and recycle them.

Carrefour has signed an agreement with five major brands across all these categories: Tefal, Philips, Hasbro, DIM, and BIC. These companies will offer vouchers for use on their products depending on the items recycled.

What are the rewards for recycling?

Customers who bring items to be recycled will receive vouchers to spend at each of the related brands. They will be issued to the value of a certain number of items in ‘batches’.

For example, a customer who brings in:

  • Five pens: €0.50 BIC voucher

  • Five pairs of tights: €1.50 DIM voucher

  • One frying pan: €5 Tefal voucher 

  • Seven toothbrushes or toothbrush heads: €15 Philips voucher

 Caroline Kraus, director of engagement at Carrefour, told Le Parisien: “We will test the scheme. And, based on the results, the idea is to deploy it much more widely.”

These items are often “forgotten about” when it comes to recycling, and often just thrown into the “main rubbish bin” instead, she said, adding: “It’s win-win, for the planet and for customers’ wallets.”

The vouchers will be eligible for use in Carrefour shops and with the brand directly. Some brands will require a minimum spend on their products before the vouchers can be used.

The scheme comes alongside other eco-friendly measures brought in at Carrefour, including some ‘reusable glass’ sections in some shops, which encourage clients to reuse glass containers for certain everyday food items.

Read also

Change to recycling rules in France and what can go in yellow bins

How to recycle in France: Seven common questions answered 

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