The Co-op is to switch out single-use plastic carrier bags in favour of compostable carrier bag to reduce its overall use of plastic packaging within five years.
60 million plastic carrier bags will be removed in a phased rollout as part Co-op’s new ethical strategy which will took tackle plastic pollution, food waste, healthy eating, saving energy and trading fairly.
New lightweight compostable carrier bag will be rolled out to almost 1,400 Co-op food stores. They be used to carry shopping home and then be re-used as food waste caddy liners as they are accepted in food waste collections.
The bags are “a simple but ingenious way to provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic shopping bags,” said Co-op retail chief executive Jo Whitfield. ““Our ban on single-use plastic is central to our new ethical blue-print. The Co-op was founded on righting wrongs, and we first campaigned to stop food fraud. Now we face huge global challenges and have created a recipe for sustainability to source responsibly, treat people with fairness and produce products which have minimal impact on the planet.”
As part of its ethical strategy, the Co-op’s own-brand packaging will become easy to recycle by 2023, as it aims to use a minimum of 50 per cent 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.