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Supermarkets across the country are doing their bit to help the environment by reducing plastic. Co-op has announced it will roll out a new plastic recycling scheme to thousands of its UK stores
Co-op is the latest British supermarket to announce it will launch an “extensive” recycling scheme to cut down on plastic.
The scheme will see Co-op become the first UK shop to have fully recyclable food packaging by the end of the month.
The grocer will launch recycling units for soft plastics in 1,500 of its stores this month.
It then hopes to roll out a further 800 in shops by the end of November.
The new initiative will ensure that all Co-op products’ packaging is easily recyclable.
Customers and staff will be able to recycle soft plastics that are not usually collected by the council.
These include crisp packets, bread bags, single-use carrier bags, bags for life, lids from ready meals, and yoghurt pots.
Biscuit wrappers and pet-food pouches can also be recycled in the new units.
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The food retailer has estimated that up to 300 tonnes of plastic bags and food wrapping could be recycled once the bins are in place in all stores.
The new initiative comes after a trial of the recycling points in 50 stores last year.
With 86 percent of shoppers saying they were likely to use the service, the trial proved to be successful.
Co-op explained that, once recycled, the material on the bags and packaging will be turned into granules which are then made into other products.
These products include buckets, bin liners, and materials for the construction industry.
This will mean the plastic will be turned into something useful instead of flooding land-fill sites or being shipped overseas.
Jo Whitfield, Co-op Food CEO, commented on the new initiative, saying: “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.”
Helen Bird, Strategic Technical Manager from WRAP, added: “There’s no doubt that unnecessary plastic needs to be reduced; including bags and wrapping which is a fifth of all consumer plastic packaging.
“However, where it is necessary it is urgent to design it for recycling and ensure recycling systems are in place.
“It’s great to see the roll out of collections across Co-op’s stores significantly contributing to the goal of The UK Plastics Pact for all plastic packaging to be recyclable by 2025.
“Not only is the Co-op ensuring that the service is widely promoted, it is processing the material within the UK, demonstrating how we can build back better for the economy and environment.”
Co-op customers have already shared their opinions of the scheme on social media, with many expressing their delight at the news.
One person wrote on Twitter: “Absolutely brilliant!”
Another shopper said: “That’s awesome guys.”
One person commented: “Fantastic, thank you so much.”
Another customer added: “You’re going to need a much bigger bin! But good news!”
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