Central England Co-op store 2

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 per cent 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.