CO-OP is introducing compostable shopping bags this week at more than 230 stores across Scotland, as part of the retailer’s move to ditch single-use plastic.
The bags are initially available in Co-op food stores in communities where they are accepted by the Local Authority as part of household food waste collections.
The compostable carriers are priced at 5p, the same price as the conventional single-use plastic bags that will be removed.
The bags can also be used as food waste caddy liners and are approved for home composting.
230 out of Co-op’s 350 Scotland stores are embracing the new carriers, from small stores on the Scottish islands to larger supermarkets in Glasgow and Aberdeen.
Over 1,000 stores will be part of the movement UK-wide, in a move estimated to replace around 60m single-use plastic bags.
The Co-op’s pledge on plastic will see all its own-brand packaging become easy to recycle by 2023. All own-brand black and dark plastic packaging, including black ready meal trays, will be eliminated by 2020.
Iain Ferguson, Environment Manager, Co-op, said: “Our members and customers expect us to help them to make more ethical choices, and we are dedicated to doing just that. Reducing environmental impacts is, and always has been, at the core of Co-op’s efforts.
“The bags are carefully designed to help local authorities with food waste recycling, supporting their community and resident engagement and, reducing plastic contamination in a targeted way.
“We are working to get closer to what our members want, need and care about. We have committed to removing own brand plastic products, and the launch of compostable carrier bags in our stores provides an environmentally-friendly alternative to single-use plastic shopping bags.
“We face huge global challenges and our ethical strategy sets out a recipe for sustainability to source responsibly, treat people with fairness and produce products which have minimal impact on our planet.
“However, we can’t do it alone and co-operation is key to our plan – we welcome measures designed to make recycling simpler and more accessible for consumers, which bring together supply and waste value chains to achieve a more circular economy.”
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