CO-OP has launched Europe’s largest in-store recycling program for plastic bags and product packaging.
Recycling units for “soft” plastics will be available from this month. The initiative establishes an accessible disposal route for materials that are unlikely to be collected by UK councils, including packets of crisps, bread bags, single-use carry bags and life bags , lids for ready meals and yoghurt pots, cookie wrappers and food bags.
The program also predicts that the convenience retailer will become the first UK supermarket to offer fully recyclable food packaging by the end of the month. These in-store units also accept food packaging purchased from other retailers as well as Co-op’s easy-to-recycle food packaging. The retailer estimates that 300 tonnes of plastic bags and food packaging could be collected per year once the bins are fully in place.
The rollout follows a successful trial last year that found 86 percent of buyers were likely to use the service. Affected communities can also be reassured that the plastics collected will be recycled in the UK.
The recyclable material is turned into post-consumer plastic granules which are then turned into useful side products, including garbage bags and buckets, and materials for the construction industry – rather than flooding landfills, be incinerated or shipped abroad.
Jo Whitfield, CEO of Co-op Food, said: “By providing a simple, practical solution to a daily problem, we believe we can help communities make small changes that together will make a big difference to our environment. . ”