Since David Attenborough’s warning about the dangers of plastic in the BBC’s Blue Planet II series last year there has been a major behavioural change in our shopping. Research suggests that 88% of people who watched the final episode have changed their behaviour when it comes to single use plastic consumption.
In order to cater to the shift in customer demand and lead the way in sustainable retail we have introduced the compostable carrier bag. This sets us apart from other retailers who have replaced single use carrier bags with bags for life as for us this would triple our plastic waste.
Our 5p compostable bags can be reused in food waste bins and can carry up to 3 bottles of prosecco! They have now gone live in 1069 stores (39% of our estate) aligning with councils who offer kerbside food waste collections. Switching to compostable carrier bags in these stores alone will potentially reduce plastic waste by up to 864 tonnes a year which really ties in with our ethics, bringing the Co-op difference to life.
Feedback about the bags from customers and colleagues has been fantastic so far and our aim is to be able to provide the bag across the whole estate. We will approach this by engaging with councils allowing them to see the great benefits of the bag and then negotiating with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs to allow sales in 100% of stores.
Watch this video by Costs Manager Helen Holland for more information. (Password is Centraldivision)