The sixth grocer of the UK, Co-op and bioplastics manufacturer Novamont have entered into a collaboration agreement aimed at supplying a new type of bags to the British distribution chain based on bioplastics, as an alternative to traditional non-biodegradable and non-compostable plastic bags.
The decision is part of an aggressive campaign launched on September 22 by Co-op, thanks to which approximately 60 million single-use plastic shopping bags, will be phased out. The Co-op has announced plans to reduces the overall use of plastic packaging within five years, in addition to eliminating materials that are difficult to recycle, such as the black plastic.
The new shopping bags will have the same size, strength and price (5 pence) of traditional plastic bags and have been developed in close collaboration with the entire supply chain, including the Italian converter and the bag distributor for the United Kingdom. Novamont will organize a public information campaign based on the experience gained with other major distribution chains that already use compostable shopping bags in mater-bi.
Iain Ferguson, Co-op’s environmental manager, said: “Our members and our customers expect us to enable them to make more ethical choices, and this shows our commitment to doing just that. The shopping bags are expressly designed to help local authorities recycle food waste, support the efforts of communities and inhabitants and reduce plastic pollution in a targeted manner. ”
Co-op’s commitment on the plastic side is aimed at making all the packaging with its brand easily recyclable by 2023. The company promised to use at least 50% of recycled plastic in bottles, jars, trays and in baskets by 2021. All black and dark plastic packaging with its brand, including the black trays for ready meals, will be eliminated by 2020.
About three out of four Co-op products are currently widely recyclable, which corresponds to 95% of its products, measured by weight. The company reduced difficult-to-recycle plastics, such as pizza trays, sushi trays and ready-to-eat packs, but promised to do more. The reduction in the use of plastics, combined with the new commitment on the side of shopping bags, is equivalent to putting out of production of 125 million plastic bottles for water.