Bakers Basco has begun impregnating its bread baskets and dollies with a traceable ‘glitter’ additive to deter thieves.

The additive hinders recycling processes and cannot be removed once added to the plastic at the manufacturing stage.

The company said the theft of bread baskets costs the baking industry millions of pounds every year, with many stolen for the value of the plastic, which can be illegally recycled. However, the new baskets mean any new products made from the plastic can be easily identified.

More than 20 leading bakeries, including Warburtons, Frank Roberts & Sons and Allied Bakeries, have already started using the baskets.

Steve Millward, general manager at Bakers Basco, said: “We have introduced this initiative to help reduce the possibility of plastic baskets and dollies not being returned to their legitimate owners. This is an important issue that recyclers and waste management officials should be aware of, as the glitter can have a negative impact on their processes. At the same time, we hope that it will encourage abusers to ask themselves, is it really worth the risk?”

He added: “Attrition has been a tremendous issue in the industry for many years, incurring considerable costs for bakers. Although tough measures are already being taken by our recovery team against anyone found to be using unauthorised bread baskets and other equipment, this latest step marks our commitment to reducing the amount of losses within the industry as a whole.”

The move comes soon after Bakers Basco partnered with GPS tracking service provider Bluetrack to attach tracking devices to its products.