Co-op knows its onions in greener packaging drive

The Co-operative Food has introduced recyclable packaging on its own-brand onion range as part of a wider strategy to divert the majority of its operational waste from landfill.

The switch from polypropylene to polythene will enable 32 tonnes more packaging to be recycled each year and means the onion packs can feature the on-pack recycling label – an industry-wide initiative supported by WRAP to promote retail waste reduction.

Last year, The Co-operative recycled more than 2,921 tonnes of polythene, including plastic collected from recycling points at more than 1,000 of the retailer’s larger stores, and used it to produce bin bags and bags for life, which it replaces when worn out, free of charge.

The Co-operative Food’s environment manager Iain Ferguson said: “The Co-operative is leading the way in providing customers with recyclable packaging.

“We know our customers are keen to protect the environment and, in addition, we are also working to label all our recyclable product lines to make it as easy as possible for our customers to recycle.”

The move has been welcomed by WRAP. Its director of closed loop economy Marcus Gover said: “WRAP welcomes every initiative from retailers and brand owners to encourage people to recycle more plastic films.”

In April the Co-operative Food became the first retailer to reduce the tint in its own brand plastic coloured milk bottle tops enabling greater recovery levels to be achieved, helping to produce an extra 4,500 tonnes of recyclable material every year.

Maxine Perella

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