AGM update: recycling

What we've done about recycling since the last AGM.

Members backed a motion at the 2017 AGM to make 80% of the Co-op’s packaging easy to recycle by 2020. Our long-term ambition is that 100% of our packaging will be recyclable.

We’re currently at 71% (by line) and our short-term goal is 80% by 2020.

This is an update of what we've done in 2017.

Market leading innovations

In 2017 we:

  • changed our meat trays (red meat, mince and turkey trays) to ones made from a single easy-to-recycle plastic
  • switched our pizza packaging bases from unrecyclable polystyrene to cardboard, saving 200 tonnes of unrecyclable poly-board from going to landfill each year
  • changed our produce trays from unrecyclable black plastic to recyclable card or clear plastic
  • started using clear trays instead of unrecyclable black plastic for Christmas chocolate selections
  • trialled the UK’s first 100% compostable tea bags for our 99 Tea brand, which we plan to roll out later this year

Influencing the industry

Over the year we:

  • influenced the UK recycling label system to reflect the asks of the recycling industry on labels, allowing many of the trays we use to be reclassified as easy to recycle
  • contributed to the Rationalisation of Packaging Working Group - chaired by our Environment Manager this is a cross industry group focused on tackling packaging recyclability holistically
  • publically supported a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) system which is designed to increase the overall recycling of packaging, significantly reduce litter and help to tackle marine pollution
  • have been vocal in the media about our product innovations and the need for more industry change and we have been a “go to” retailer for comment for the last 12 months particularly - including featuring in The Guardian, on The One Show and Sky News

Get involved

Members can get involved in our recycling work in a variety of ways.

Read the Tipping point report

Visit the OPRL website

Share your thoughts on what were are doing through #Coopway