A supermarket’s own brand water will soon be on sale in 50 per cent recycled bottles to customers in Gedling borough – although they will be cloudier and greyer in appearance than usual.
The bottles will be sourced in the UK and be 100% recyclable, says the Group. The change will be introduced for all its own-brand still, sparkling and flavoured water later this year.
It is the first retailer to run this initiative, which it estimates can save almost 350 tonnes of plastic annually.
Jo Whitfield, chief executive at Co-op Food, said: “We know that by working closely with our supply and waste-value chains we can find new ways of sourcing sustainable alternatives. Our customers expect us to respond to this challenge and help them make more ethical choices, and we’re dedicated to doing just that.
“Making these changes will also create new uses for recycled materials which in turn gives our customers greater confidence in recycling. We’re constantly listening to our members and customers, understanding what they need, where and when they need it, and we’re committed to continuing to explore the opportunities.”
In his 29 years with the retailer, environment manager Iain Ferguson has led a number of radical changes to the way it packages food and produce.
The retailer has set a target to make 100% of its packaging recyclable with an interim goal of 80% by 2020. It also plans to get rid of black and dark coloured plastic. This cannot be identified by sorting plants, which use optical sorting techniques to identify polymers, and contaminates the recycling stream, reducing the usefulness and value of the recovered material.
It is estimated that this adds at least 30,000 tonnes of plastic each year to waste.