Co-op to tackle soft plastic waste

The Co-op has launched an initiative to tackle soft plastic waste at its smallest store at Pilton Village, Somerset. 

Customers at the branch will learn how to recycle the items while the store works to create the “ultimate environment” for optimal waste management.  

The move follows research by the retailer, indicating that although 92 per cent of the UK is committed to recycling, 49 per cent said that they throw items in the recycle bin they know might not be recyclable. 

The brand is optimistic that its initiative will make a positive impactas 70 per cent of respondents also reported a desire to improve their knowledge and practice of accurate recycling methods. 

The project is also being supported by a “Recycling Behaviour Change Board” with members including scientists, celebrities, behaviour specialists and consumers. 

The results of the project will be shared later this year in an effort to enact long-lasting change to recycling habits and improve plastic kerb-side collection services across the country.   

READ MORE: Midcounties Co-op rolls out soft plastic collection scheme

The move comes soon after the Co-op rolled out Europe’s most extensive soft-plastics recycling scheme in Europe which is set to be available in 2300 stores by November.  

“As a business we are committed to supporting simple solutions to everyday environmental issues,” Co-op environment manager Iain Ferguson said.  

“The launch of our in store soft-plastic recycling scheme is designed to simplify recycling for consumers, but we know that as a business there is more we can do to make long-term positive changes to the consumer behaviours in the communities we serve. 

“We are excited to find out what we can learn from the experiment, and how we can put those learnings into action nationally.” 

Co-op Pilton store manager Mathew Tavener added: “The initiative has really opened my eyes, and we have had such a great response from the community already. 

“Personally I didn’t realise how much soft-plastic I used and that I wasn’t recycling myself. 

“It isn’t much extra effort to recycle it – it does take a change in behaviour and then it just becomes habit, one that we can all do, simply.” 

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