Co-op launches extensive collection scheme for plastic bags and food wrapping
Co-op has launched what it describes as Europe’s most extensive in-store recycling scheme for plastic bags and product wrapping.
The rollout follows a successful 50 store film collection trial last year which found that 86% of shoppers were likely to use the service.
Co-op said the move means that by the end of July, it will become first UK supermarket to have fully recyclable food packaging.
Recycling units for soft plastics will launch in 1,500 Co-op stores this month and will reach 2,300 shops by November. The initiative ensures that all Co-op’s own food packing is easily recyclable by establishing an accessible disposal route for materials which are unlikely to be collected by UK councils. These include crisp packets, bread bags, single-use carrier bags and bags-for-life, lids from ready meals and yogurt pots, biscuit wrappers and pet-food pouches.
The in-store units will also accept packaging for food products purchased in shops run by other retailers. Co-op estimates that 300 tonnes of plastic bags and food wrapping could be collected per year once the bins are fully in place.
Plastics collected are recycled in the UK with Jayplas turning the material into post-consumer plastic granules which are then made into secondary products.
Jo Whitfield, Co-op Food chief executive, said: “As we face into an environmental crisis, we know from our feedback that there is a universal appetite for change. Which is why we are making it easier for thousands of households to recycle all of their plastic food packaging. This will not only prevent unnecessary waste but also reduce plastic pollution. By offering a simple and convenient solution to an everyday issue, we believe we can help communities to make small changes, that together will add up to a big difference for our environment.”
The roll-out will be supported by a nationwide, multichannel marketing campaign as part of the retailer’s new partnership with ITV. A new Co-op TV advert will debut during the Coronation Street ad-break on 9 July.
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