By Rob Thompson, Packaging Technologist

Recycling is really important to us here at the Co-op. Knowing how much plastic ends up in our oceans or in landfill, we’re always challenging ourselves and thinking of new ways to reduce the amount of plastic we use, and when we do use it, it’s recyclable.

This week, we’re supporting National Recycle Week. It’s organised by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and it’s all about encouraging the public to recycle more. And we want to encourage you to recycle more too!

Here are some quick tips to help you do that:

  • Make sure you rinse food packaging thoroughly to remove any residue before recycling it
  • Check labels to see if packaging is recyclable and accepted in your area; if you’re not sure, go to
  • Remember to reuse your green compostable Co-op carrier bags for food waste
  • Some cardboard coffee cups can have a plastic coating inside, so they can’t be recycled – use a reusable coffee cup instead

We’ve done lots already to improve our recycling

We’re really proud of what we’ve done to improve our packaging so it’s either fully recyclable, much easier to recycle, or made from recyclable plastics. Here are some of our highlights:

  • We’re the first UK national supermarket to use compostable carrier bags – available in more than 1,000 stores and saving 311 tonnes of plastic waste
  • 270 tonnes of plastic saved by our water bottles being made from 50% recycled materials
  • Moved all our pizza packaging bases to cardboard, saving 200 tonnes of polystyrene every year
  • 5.2 tonnes of packaging moved to recyclable film in our healthy snack packs
  • 163 tonnes of plastic saved from landfill by moving our minced beef trays to a single material so it’s easier to recycle
  • Changing the colour of our milk bottle tops so it’s easier for recycling machines to sort them

We’re continuing to remove any plastics that aren’t designed to be reused or recycled, so watch this space for more innovations soon.

Get involved

We’d love you to get involved in Recycle Week. The theme this year is ‘Recycling. It’s on our own hands’. It’s down to everyone to play their part in recycling more and making sure you do it in the right way.

What can you do this week to improve your recycling?

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. its a shame Funeralcare hasn’t followed suit!

  2. Fantastic to see we are celebrating something so important but im worried about the lack of recycling within Funeral care. We want to do more, can you please can you contact me for advice, that would be great thank you. 🙂

  3. 11 years ago, Wall-E showed us the importance of recycling

  4. Have a look at our partner GM Waste Authority’s website for news and updates about recycling in Manchester, including interactive quizzes to see how much you know about recycling

Comments are closed.


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