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We’re removing single-use plastic carrier bags from almost 1,400 Co-ops and replacing them with the UK’s first compostable carrier bag with a defined second use; for use in kitchen food waste caddies.
What’s a compostable carrier bag?
Compostable carrier bags can be used to carry your shopping home from Co-op and then used as kitchen food waste caddy liners. We will roll these out to 1,400 Co-ops, which are in communities where the local council collects food scraps from kitchen food waste caddies. This number will increase over time as more local councils start to collect food waste.
Some of the benefits of our compostable carrier bags are:
- they’re the same size and strength as plastic carrier bags
- they can be used as kitchen food waste caddy liners
- their handles make them easier to use than ordinary kitchen food waste caddy liners
- they‘re completely biodegrade in compost systems that many councils use
- they’re cheaper than buying kitchen food waste caddy liners, at just 5p each
- more methane-generating food waste is diverted from landfill to compost systems
- they save your local council money
Of course, we would still sell our reusable bags for life, but these compostable bags are ideal for those times that you forget or you need something in passing.
How else are Co-op reducing single-use plastic?
Our new compostable carrier bags form part of a new ethical strategy, Future of Food, which we’re launching on Thursday 27 September 2018. Future of Food will also tackle food waste, healthy eating, energy saving and trading fairly. This vision has been developed to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.
In addition to our compostable carrier bags, today we’re committing to:
- make all Co-op branded packaging easy to recycle by 2023, with 80% of packaging easy to recycle by 2020
- eliminate single-use plastics used for packaging Co-op branded products, by 2023
- use a minimum of 50% recycled plastic by 2021, in our
- bottles (including PET or Polyethylene terephthalate and HDPE or polyethylene high-density)
- eliminate Co-op branded black and dark plastic packaging, by 2020
We’ve already taken a number of steps to reduce our plastic waste by removing plastic packaging within five years, stop using hard to recycle materials, like black plastic and switching some plastic packaging for more environmentally friendly alternatives. We’ve also asked for our members to join in #TheCoopWay to help reduce waste.
Read more on how we’re tackling plastic waste at our Co-op;