Packaging plays an important part in reducing food waste and getting Co-op food, drink and household products safely to your kitchens and homes
But we also know it can be hard to recycle certain products. We listen to your frustrations about recyclability at home and use them to make our packaging smarter. From confusion over what to do with yogurt pots, to niggles over excessive packaging, this feedback helps us to improve and make useful changes.
We’ve looked at some of the big packaging questions we received and decided it was time to bust some myths.
“Why is there ‘unnecessary’ packaging of fruit and vegetables?”
Perishable goods last longer in packaging, so our packaging not only keeps products fresh but ultimately cuts down on food waste. If you buy your fruit and vegetables loose, make sure you check out the top tips for storage on our produce bags. We list all our commonly purchased fruit and vegetables on these bags with a tip on how to store each.
“So many items at home can’t be recycled, is it really worth it?”
It’s a common misconception that numerous items can’t be recycled at home. Always check with your local recycler, but one great resource for finding out what you can and can’t recycle is www.recyclenow.com. You might be surprised…for example, did you know aerosols can be widely recycled?
“Retailers don’t really care about recycling, they just want food to look appealing”
This is definitely a myth when it comes to The Co-op, it’s important to us and we know it’s so important to you. We work hard to continually improve the recyclability of our packaging and our long term ambition is for ALL packaging to be recycled where it can be. We work hard behind the scenes to engage with key stakeholders like local authorities and waste management companies to make recycling better.
We believe small innovations bring big change, which is why we recently made some tweaks to our protein packaging resulting in a very positive impact.
We have worked to simplify the packaging used for our protein, to make it easily recyclable. This includes our chicken breast trays and cooked meat trays. We’re now challenging the industry; from recyclers to packaging manufacturers, to other retailers and local authorities, to move with us and create a solid market for the plastic.
There’s much more to come on this project in 2017, so watch this space.
Our long term ambition is for ALL packaging to be recycled where it can be, and we have made a bold start by setting a target that, by 2020, 80% of our products will have packaging that is easy to recycle. Following our protein packaging changes, our priority is creating a market for plastic packaging so it can be widely recycled. Following that, we’re busy lining up our next innovations.
To make it easier for you to identify what can be recycled, we use the 'On Pack Recycling Label' (OPRL). This has three main logos:
For packaging that is collected by more than 75% of local authorities.
For items that are collected by between 25% and 75% of local authorities.
For items collected by fewer than 25% of local authorities. We regularly review these labels as progress in recycling schemes is made.