Black ready meal trays, crisp packets, sauce sachets and cosmetics containers collected in stores will be turned into store fittings, furniture and school playground equipment by plastic technology company Dow.

The scheme will be launched in eight stores before being rolled out nationwide by the end of 2019.

M&S will also introduce recycling collection points to primary schools across the country in partnership with social enterprise Wastebuster to educate on the important of recycling and reducing plastic waste.

Laura Fernandez, senior packaging technologist at M&S, said: “Customers often don’t know how best to recycle certain types of plastic or where it goes after being collected by local councils.

“We’re on a mission to provide a greater awareness of landfill avoidance and plastic recyclability, while ultimately helping our customers to give plastic a new purpose and support a truly circular economy.”

M&S has promised to remove 1,700 tonnes of black plastic packaging by the spring, contributing to its commitment of fully recyclable packaging by 2022.

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