Additional written evidence from Primark
Dear Mr Dunne,
Thank you again for the opportunity to give evidence to your Committee on Wednesday. As you
requested, I am following up in writing with further details of Primark’s in-store recycling scheme, including our most recent data on the quantity of items collected.
Primark launched our in-store recycling scheme in all 190 of our UK stores in July 2020. Customers are encouraged to donate old items of clothing and textiles, which will be reused, recycled or repurposed, with nothing going to landfill. The scheme accepts garments and textile products originally purchased at any retailer, not just from Primark. To raise awareness among our customers we promoted the initiative to our 22 million followers on social media. Profits from the scheme go to UNICEF, Primark’s global charity partner, in support of its education programmes for vulnerable children around the world.
We work with a specialist recycling partner, Yellow Octopus, who support us in sorting and distributing the collected products, and we have a process in place which gives us full visibility as to where those products are sent. We also ensured that the recycling partner selection process included a social audit, as is the case for any factory before it can be used for Primark production.
Since the UK-wide launch, we have collected a total of 18,475 tonnes of old products for reuse or
recycling. We are very encouraged by this result, especially given that for four of the eight months
since the launch of the scheme all of our UK stores have been closed due to nationwide lockdowns,
leaving us unable to collect any items. We also faced significant disruption in December, when many
of our stores across the UK were forced to remain closed due to Tier 4 restrictions.
With all of our stores now open again in line with the Government’s roadmap, our customers are once more able to deposit old clothes in our blue collection boxes available in prominent positions in every store. We are relaunching our communications campaign to promote the scheme, and we are hugely excited about its potential to make our business more sustainable; in fact in due course we plan to roll out the programme in all of the other 12 markets in which we operate.
If I can be of any further assistance to the Committee, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Group Corporate Responsibility Director