Co-op has announced an end to single-use plastic. It will see around 60 million plastic carrier bags removed in a phased rollout and replaced with an environmentally-friendly alternative. The move is part of a new hard-hitting ethical strategy to be launched later this week by the Co-op, which will tackle plastic pollution as well as food waste, healthy eating, saving energy and trading fairly.
The blue-print sets out how the Co-op will ban single-use own-brand plastic products and reduce its overall use of plastic packaging within five years and stop using hard to recycle materials, like black plastic.
And as part of the commitment, lightweight compostable carrier bags, which can be used to carry shopping home and then be re-used as food waste caddy liners, will be rolled out to almost 1,400 Co-op food stores, initially in towns, cities and villages where the bags are accepted in food waste collections*.
The Co-op’s pledge on plastic will see all its own-brand packaging become easy to recycle by 2023. It has promised to use a minimum of 50% recycled plastic in bottles, pots, trays and punnets by 2021.
All own-brand black and dark plastic packaging, including black ready meal trays, will be eliminated by 2020.
The Co-op’s initiative to ditch single-use plastics will see it increase recyclable packaging and materials. Almost three out of four products that the Co-op makes are now widely recyclable, which accounts for 95% of its products when measured by weight. It has reduced hard to recycle plastics, such as pizza discs, sushi bases and cooked meat packaging but promises to go further. Its reductions in plastic use, combined with its new pledge on carrier bags, is the equivalent to 125 million plastic water bottles** being taken out of production.
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