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Tesco join forces with Hasbro and Wastebuster to trial in store toy recycling that also gets books into schools

  • Tesco has become the latest member of Wastebuster’s Recycle to Read toy recycling initiative – designed to educate and promote toy reuse and create a new infrastructure for recycling plastic toys.
  • Recycle to Read collection bins will be trialled in selected Tesco stores from 4 September.
  • Customers will be able to drop broken plastic toys in-store for recycling and collect points for books.
  • The initiative is backed by global toy and games company Hasbro, alongside the founding partners of Recycle to Read, children’s magazine publishers.

Tesco and Hasbro have joined forces with leading not-for-profit environmental education company, Wastebuster, to trial a new in-store campaign – turning broken plastic toys into books and reading resources for UK schools.

In a major development for the Recycle to Read campaign, the trial – which runs from 4 September to 4 December – encourages children and families to recycle their broken, hard plastic toys via toy recycling bins placed in selected Tesco stores. The scheme will be rolled out to further stores if it proves successful and popular with customers.

Backed by global toy and games company, Hasbro, the initiative aims to drive a circular solution for unwanted or broken hard plastic toys. Families are first encouraged to rehome toys through charitable giving to friends, family, school toy sales or local charities. Broken toys can be recycled in store – where they are collected, cleaned and turned into plastic pellets, before being used to create new items including coat hangers, chairs and coffee machines. 

Rehomed and recycled plastic toys can be registered via the Wastebuster website to earn Planet Care Points for any schools attended by children from 2-11 years old in the Sussex area. Eligible schools can register for free to earn points for books at

The Recycle to Read scheme will then reward the fifty highest point-scoring schools in the area with book vouchers from a prize fund of £5,000, to spend on a wide range of discounted books by children’s publishing house, Harper Collins. Participating schools can also win fantastic book bundles, provided by publishing houses Farshore and Ladybird, in a weekly prize draw. 

The Recycle to Read campaign was launched by Wastebuster in association with Products of Change and is powered by members of the toy industry and all major children’s publishers, distributors – including Immediate Media Company; Story House Egmont; Redan; Kennedy; Signature; DC Thompson; Frontline and Seymour. The campaign aims to drive new infrastructure for notoriously hard-to-recycle plastic toys, as well as providing reading materials to support literacy in UK nurseries and primary schools across the UK.

Katy Newnham, founder of Wastebuster said:“Recycle to Read supports families in learning about the environmental benefits of toy rehoming and recycling, while rewarding them with books for taking part. What better way can we inspire and empower children to make pro-environmental choices, than by storytelling with their favourite characters and giving them an opportunity to send their unwanted toys on a new adventure that is good for the planet?”.

Helena Mansell-Stopher, founder of Products of Change said:“The Recycle to Read platform is the result of the tireless work of an industry coming together with cross-sector stakeholders around the need to find more sustainable solution for unwanted or broken toys. After so many years in the making, it’s amazing to see the campaign come to life through this Hasbro and Tesco partnership. This is a hugely exciting moment that I believe represents a turning point for circularity in toys, and a wonderful example of what can be achieved when industry demonstrates sector leadership and comes together, in the pursuit of sustainability”.

Ally Rose, Tesco Category Director for Toys said:“We are always looking for new ways to remove, reduce, reuse and recycle plastic in our business, so we’re delighted to be able to support the Recycle to Read campaign as a way to help our customers do more of this at home. As well as trialling a new way we can work together on hard-to-recycle plastics, it also helps to give children greater access to reading”.

Sara Westby, Director of Marketing at Hasbro, said:“At Hasbro, we know kids and families everywhere share our passion for protecting our planet, which is why we’re proud to partner with Wastebuster on the Recycle to Read campaign. We encourage everyone to keep their memories, but recycle their broken toys – doing good to the planet and to people”. 

For more information on Recycle to Read, visit: 


How Recycle to Read works
Communities can earn Planet Care Points for schools by rehoming or recycling toys. Both actions are worth one Planet Care Point per day, per email address, regardless of the number of toys rehomed or recycled.

The top 50 schools can earn £500, £400, £300, £200, £100, £50 vouchers depending on their ranking by midday on 4 September 2023. Book vouchers can be exchanged for a selection of children’s fiction and non-fiction books from the Harper Collins Recycle to Read catalogue.

Individuals/families can take broken, hard plastic toys to their participating Tesco store across Sussex to drop into a Recycle to Read collection bin. 

To get Planet Care Points for schools, individuals scan the QR code on the front of the bin – to complete a simple form with their email address, Tesco store where they used the collection bin, the school they would like to receive their point, and the number of toys recycled. Once the form has been submitted and verified, a Planet Care Point will be added to the selected school’s total, in the leaderboard on the Recycle to Read consumer website: (launching 1 September 2023). The individual will then be entered into our weekly prize draw to win book vouchers and book bundles.

Individuals/families that rehome unwanted toys can register their toy rehoming on the Recycle to Read website, using the same form. If a photo of the rehomed toys is uploaded during registration, the individual will be entered into the weekly prize draw.

Recycle to Read weekly prize draws give away children’s book bundles to individuals collecting Planet Care Points for schools. The book bundles contain popular book titles, such as Peppa Pig and Power Rangers. The weekly prize draw also gives away £50 and £100 book vouchers to schools or Planet Care Point collectors, to spend in the Harper Collins Recycle to Read Book Catalogue. All books in the catalogue have been discounted by a minimum of 20% for Planet Care Point collectors and schools taking part.

All schools in East and West Sussex will be invited to take part in the Tesco Recycle to Read Toys collections trial (4 September-4 December 2023). A campaign pack and wide range of resources, including education content, will be provided by Wastebuster to support whole school engagement in the campaign.

Watch this video to find out how hard plastic toys are recycled through the Recycle to Read programme. 

The collections only accept hard, broken plastic toys. No electronic or electrical toys, slime, toys with fabric parts, inflatables, toys with wooden parts. 

Background on Tesco 

Tesco is the UK’s leading retailer, with more than 330,000 colleagues and serving millions of customers in local communities, online and in stores every week. We believe that affordable, healthy and sustainably produced food should be accessible to everyone - whoever they are, wherever they live, whatever their budget.

Our commitment to operating in a responsible and sustainable way reflect our values, and is built into our core purpose. When it comes to plastic and packaging, we follow our 4Rs strategy – to Remove where we can, Reduce it where we can’t, Reuse more of it, and Recycle what’s left.

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Background on Hasbro 

Hasbro is a leading toy and game company whose mission is to entertain and connect generations of fans through the wonder of storytelling and exhilaration of play. Hasbro delivers engaging brand experiences for global audiences through toys, consumer products, gaming and entertainment, with a portfolio of iconic brands including MAGIC: THE GATHERING, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, Hasbro Gaming, NERF, TRANSFORMERS, PLAY-DOH and PEPPA PIG, as well as premier partner brands.  

Hasbro is guided by our Purpose to create joy and community for all people around the world, one game, one toy, one story at a time. For more than a decade, Hasbro has been consistently recognised for its corporate citizenship, including being named one of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens by 3BL Media, one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute and one of the 50 Most Community-Minded Companies in the U.S. by the Civic 50. For more information, visit 

Background on Products of Change 

Products of Change is a global educational hub and membership organisation aimed at driving sustainable change across consumer product markets and beyond by bringing together a strong community of brand owners, retailers, innovators, and manufacturing partners to learn and connect to advance positive, sustainable development across the $340bn global brand and licensing industry.

With education at its heart, Products of Change is a library of sustainable learnings from across a wide spectrum of topics, markets, and product areas and an industry centre of resources and tools to help the transition to better business for people and the planet. Among the resources available to members and non-members is the recently launch POC Industry Framework and series of White Papers to be found at

Background on Wastebuster
Wastebuster is a not-for-profit environmental education company specialising in entertainment for social change, behaviour change campaigns and recycling reward programmes. The Pod, Wastebuster’s award-winning campaign platform actively encourages young people to consider how they can act more responsibly and sustainably, in their everyday lives. The platform has a member network of over 17,800 schools in the UK, including 40% of UK primary schools and 1 in 3 secondary schools. Wastebuster/ Pod resources reach more than 62,000 teachers and engage over 5 million young people and their families each year.

Wastebuster work with governments, industry associations, businesses, NGOs, and the UN, to develop education programmes and behaviour change campaigns that unlock social, economic, and environmental benefits for the societies in which they operate. 

Wastebusters popular, annualised campaigns including Waste Week, Switch Off Fortnight, Water Week, What’s Under your Feet and Recycle to Read, provide opportunities for whole school communities to; reduce waste and litter, recycle more for rewards, save energy and water, to conserve resources and work together towards Net Zero.

Participating stores: 



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