Co-op to launch own collection scheme

The Co-op Group is to switch to 100 per cent own-brand recyclable packaging and launch a UK-wide plastics film recycling scheme.

The retailer, which has also banned black plastics packaging, wants to phase out non-recyclable plastics by the middle of this year and replace them with reusable or easily recycled materials. Its targets include ready meal trays, crisp packets, sandwich cartons and film.

To circumnavigate the issue of local councils not collecting certain plastics, the Co-op will develop its own national collection programme, either by kerbside or a closed-loop in-house scheme.

Co-op Food’s chief executive Jo Whitfield said the move would help satisfy the growing ethical demands of UK consumers.

“That’s why we’ve brought forward our commitment on own-brand recyclable plastics by three years,” she said. “That’s why we’re committed to reducing unnecessary packaging and why our long term vision is to be a carbon neutral business. From today, black plastics is banned and by the summer we’ll have pioneered a UK-wide recycling scheme for hard-to-recycle plastics film.”