Bags of cash for good causes in Northern Ireland thanks to the Co-operative

14 January 2015

Co-operative Food stores in Northern Ireland are to stock a new range of longer-life reusable carrier bags, which as well as helping the environment will allow shoppers to raise bags of cash for good causes.

The move comes just days before the existing 5p levy on single-use bags in Northern Ireland is extended to include all bags which retail at less than 20p, in a move designed to protect the environment by further reducing the number of plastic bags in circulation.

But from today (Wednesday, 14 January) the Co-op is stocking an entire new range of longer-life reusable bags, with a pledge that it will reinvest all the profits from their sales to good causes

The move means that any money made by the Co-op on sales of its new woven reusable large shopping bag, a new woven reusable small shopping bag (which doubles as a bottle carrier) and new fold-away bags (all available for £1 each), as well as its redesigned 15p bag for life, will go to good causes.

The Co-operative Food has more than 30 stores in Northern Ireland, and expects the move will raise tens of thousands of pounds in the next 12 months. All the money will go to projects in local communities.

John McNeill, Regional Stores Director for The Co-operative Food in Northern Ireland, said:

“We have a strong commitment to the environment and we share the aspiration of reducing the numbers of plastic carrier bags that are in circulation.

“By buying any of our range of £1 bags, customers will not only be contributing to the environment, but they’ll have a stylish carrier which can be used time and time again, and they’ll be raising money that will go to good causes. Together we can reduce, reuse, recycle, and also reinvest, in Northern Ireland.”

The Co-operative Food will confirm which good causes can bid for the funding generated by bag sales, and how they can apply, during 2015.

The new fold-away bags are made from 100% recycled materials are available in black or turquoise. The large and small woven bags, made from 80% recycled materials, are turquoise and decorated a with a “carrier bags are rubbish” design. The small woven bag can double as a bottle carrier. The bags can be recycled at Salvation Army textile recycling banks in Northern Ireland.

Further information on The Co-operative Food’s range of carrier bags, and how to recycle them, can be found at


Notes to Editors:

The Co-operative Group, which is the UK’s largest co-operative business with interests across food, funerals, insurance and legal services, has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, The Co-operative Group operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 employees and an annual turnover of approximately £11 billion

For more information about The Co-operative Food go to


For further information please contact:

Steve Broughton
PR Manager
The Co-operative Group
0161 767 4298
07834 090 014