We’re removing single-use plastic carrier bags from almost 1,400 Co-op Food stores and replacing them with the UK’s first compostable carrier bags that can double as liners for food waste caddies – another proud Co-op first in UK retail.
What’s a compostable carrier bag?
As you might expect from a carrier bag, our new compostable replacements can be used to take your shopping home. The Co-op difference we’re adding is a second use, meaning you can line your food waste caddy with a bin bag and it will biodegrade like the rest of your compostable waste. We’ll roll these bags out to 1,400 Co-ops in communities where the local council collects food scraps. This number will increase over time as more local councils start to collect food waste.
Some of the benefits of our compostable carrier bags are:
- they’re the same size and strength as plastic carrier bags
- they can be used as kitchen food waste caddy liners
- their handles make them easier to use than ordinary kitchen food waste caddy liners
- they completely biodegrade in compost systems that many councils use
- they’re cheaper than buying kitchen food waste caddy liners, at just 5p each
- more methane-generating food waste is diverted from landfill to compost systems
- they save your local council money
- the move to compostable carrier bags will take 339 tonnes of plastic out of circulation
Of course, we’ll still sell our 10p reusable bags for life, but these compostable bags are ideal for those times that you forget or you need something in passing.
How else are Co-op reducing single-use plastic?
Our new compostable carrier bags form part of a new ethical strategy ‘Future of Food’, which we’re launching on Thursday 27 September 2018. Future of Food will also tackle food waste, healthy eating, energy saving and trading fairly. This vision has been developed to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.
We are also committing to ban single-use own-brand plastic products, reduce our overall use of plastic packaging by 2023 and stop using hard to recycle materials, like black plastic.
In addition to our compostable carrier bags, today we’re committing to:
- making all Co-op branded packaging easy to recycle by 2023, with 80% of packaging easy to recycle by 2020
- eliminating single-use plastics used for packaging Co-op branded products, by 2023
- using a minimum of 50% recycled plastic by 2021 in our: bottles (including PET or Polyethylene terephthalate and HDPE or polyethylene high-density), pots, trays and punnets
- eliminating Co-op branded black and dark plastic packaging, by 2020