Boots to reward customers for recycling blister packs

The retailer has launched a pilot recycling initiative, in which customers can receive advantage card points when they deposit empty medicine and vitamin packaging in dedicated in-store bins.

The pilot is part of the existing Recycle at Boots scheme, which rewards customers for bringing empty health and beauty products that cannot be recycled at home to collection bins in Boots stores.

Used medicine blister packsBoots aims to divert millions of blister packs - which are made from mixed foil and plastic packaging and so cannot typically be recycled through household kerbside collections - from landfill.

Natalie Gourlay, Head of ESG at Boots, commented: “At Boots we want to make it easy for our customers to make sustainable choices for a healthy planet – from the products they buy to how they dispose of the packaging once they have used them.

“Customers can now simply drop off their empty blister packs at Boots with the assurance that the materials will be given a second life and get rewarded for it too.”

Blister pack recycling bins will initially be available in over 100 stores in London and the South East of England, but plans are underway to roll out the initiative to more stores across the UK in the next year.

To receive 150 Boots Advantage Card points (worth £1.50), individuals must:

  • Create an account on the Scan2Recyle app, or login to their existing account.
  • Scan 15 empty blister packs and wait up to 24 hrs for them to be validated.
  • Deposit the blister packs in one of the dedicated bins in a participating Boots store, making sure to scan the QR code.
  • Spend £10 or more in-store.

Customers can recycle and track blister packs from any brand, as long as they have a Boots Advantage Card. If they are depositing other hard-to-recycle health and beauty empties (e.g. contact lenses and insulin pens) through Scan2Recycle, they will be rewarded 500 Advantage Card points when they scan five products and spend £10 in store.

Boots sends deposited blister packs and other containers to MYGroup for recycling, where the materials are separated using a specialised machine. The aluminium foil is directly sent for reprocessing and, where possible, the plastic is separated by polymer type for reprocessing or turned into a composite material for construction and furniture.

Steve Carrie, Group Director at MYGroup, said: “We’re proud to announce this landmark scheme with Boots, taking our unique circular solution for blister pack recycling further into the mainstream. Thanks to our longstanding partnership with Boots, we already have the relationships, expertise and reach in place to recover such a widespread waste item at scale as the scheme rolls out.”

Recycle at Boots collection bins are available at over 700 stores across the UK and over 3.1 million products have been recycled since it launched in 2020, according to the retailer. Customers can find out which stores are participating in the blister pack recycling scheme on the Boots website.