Boots has initiated a new recycling pilot scheme in more than 100 of its stores in London and South East England, including nine locations in Oxfordshire.

Shoppers can now dispose of their used blister packs - highly unrecyclable packaging commonly used for medicine and vitamins - in specially assigned bins at participating Boots stores.

The retailer's plan extends the existing Recycle at Boots programme, which offers rewards to customers for returning empty health and beauty product containers.

Witney Gazette: The scheme is an extension of the Recycle at Boots initiativeThe scheme is an extension of the Recycle at Boots initiative (Image: Boots)

Boots Advantage Card holders will gain 150 points once they recycle 15 empty blister packs and spend at least £10 in store.

The company aims to expand the initiative to more locations countrywide within the coming year.

The stores offering the service in Oxfordshire are Chipping Norton High Street, Bicester Shopping Park, and Oxford Cowley Retail Park, Witney High Street, Abingdon Bury Street, Oxford Headington, Wantage Market Place, Oxford Summertown and Bicester Sheep Street.

Natalie Gourlay, head of environmental social governance at Boots, said: "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 just like they can when they drop off other hard-to-recycle empties through Recycle at Boots.

"We will be taking the learnings of this initial pilot on board as we look to roll the scheme out more widely within the next year."

Witney Gazette: The packets will be recycled by MYGroupThe packets will be recycled by MYGroup (Image: Boots)

Boots’ blister pack recycling initiative has been created in conjunction with technology partner Metrisk and recycling partner MYGroup.

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.”

Post-disposal, the used packaging is shipped to MYGroup for separation through a specialised machine.

The metal foil is recycled, and the plastic is reprocessed where possible, or transformed into a material named MYBoardTM that is utilised for construction and furniture production.

Boots' broader Recycle at Boots initiative has gathered more than 3.1 million items since it started in 2020, and has bins at 700 stores.

Customers can learn more about Boots’ efforts to reduce its environmental impact through the ‘Bootprint’ campaign on their official website.