Customers can dispose of hard to recycle plastics at special collection points in Central England Co-op stores

Central England Co-op customers can now go even further in their efforts to help protect the environment thanks to a newly launched plastic recycling scheme.

The majority of all the retailer’s 240 plus stores based across 16 counties now have a specially created collection point that will allow people to recycle film and soft plastics, items that are currently not collected by all council services.

The collection points will allow people to deposit items such as crisp packets, sweet wrappers, plastic film, pet food pouches and plastic bags, which will then be backhauled via Central England Co-op’s distribution network and responsibly recycled.

Items that cannot be recycled include hard plastics, plastic bottles, plastic trays and no compostable elements, however recycling services for these items are widely available.

Luke Olly, Energy and Environment Lead, said: “As a co-operative, we have a responsibility to champion sustainability for the good of our members, consumers and local communities and plastics is at the forefront of these efforts.

“We have worked with other retail co-ops to provide a network of in-store collection points for film and soft plastics. Providing collection points specifically for these types of plastics will enable customers to easily recycle items that are currently not collected through council services, while doing this in a co-operative manner means all the communities the co-op serves can benefit from this process, helping to provide a nationwide solution to this difficult problem.

“We hope our customers and members will make use of the new collection points and join us in our push to recycle together.”

Estimates from WRAP suggest that just 6% of plastic bags and wrapping from UK households is recycled each year, while (by weight) it makes up around a fifth of all plastic packaging.

This comes after the retailer was named Leading Co-op of the Year in part for its environmental efforts, including its pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030. It also recently signed the European Union’s new Code of Conduct on Responsible Business and Marketing Practices in an effort to work closely with partners to help improve food sustainability.

Central England Co-op’s eco commitment is already evident in some of the major milestones it has achieved in recent years.
These include:

  • Reducing electricity usage by 51% since 2010
  • Reducing natural gas usage by 58% since 2010
  • Reducing refrigeration gas emissions by 69% since 2010
  • New stores use as little as 50% less electricity
  • Reducing food waste by 40% during the past three years from 2,445 tonnes in 2017 to 1,085 tonnes in 2020

 

 

Notes to editors

 

Below is a full list of what can now be recycled in Central England Co-op stores:

 

•Bread bags

•Produce bags

•Ordinary carrier bags

•Wrappers around kitchen towel and toilet roll

•Bags that nappies come in

•Bags from cotton wool

•Cereal box liners

•Bags from frozen foods

•Bags from ice cubes

•Lids on yogurts, cream, desserts

•Lids from packs of meat, ready meals

•Lidding film from cheese packs

•Wrapping around chicken

•Fruit and veg flow wrap

•Chocolate wrappers

•Croissant, pancake, crumpet, etc wrappers

•Biscuit wrappers

•Wrappers from cakes, Yorkshire puddings

•Flower wrappers

•Bags from dried fruit, sugar, pulses, rice and pasta

•Protective wrappers from gift wrap, bags from gift tags

•Pastry packaging

•Bags from household textiles and similar –all-purpose cloths , dusters, dishcloths, rubber gloves, scourers

•Wrappers from pet food

•Wrappers from pies, pasties and sausage rolls

•Bagged sweets

•Pizza wrappers

•Bags from porridge, muesli pouches

•Packaging from baby wipes and similar

 

About Central England Co-operative

 

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.

 

Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its over 7,800 colleagues serve customers across 400 plus trading sites in 16 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

 

Its purpose is to inspire communities to create a sustainable Society for all.

 

It actively campaigns for the Government to increase sentencing for violent attacks on retail workers and works with FareShare Midlands and hundreds of food banks, generating enough food donations to create over 2.1 million meals for people in need.

 

The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter, while it is also fully committed to addressing the impact of climate change and is on track to be Carbon Neutral by 2030.  

 

It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £175,000 shared out between 116 good causes over the past 12 months.

 

Central England Co-op was named Leading Co-op of the Year by Co-operatives UK in 2021.

 

Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle

 

Phone - 01543 421390

 

Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop