Co-op roll out compostable carrier bags to over 1,000 of its stores

The new compostable carrier bag. Co-Op HQ. Angel Square, Manchester. 19th September 2018. Photographer - Neil O'Connor (UNP).

Retailer Co-op has announced that it is rolling out new compostable carrier bags this week to more than 1,000 of its food stores in a move to eliminate single-use plastics. 

This follows a trial of the bags in 22 stores in the Greater Manchester area in Autumn and is part of its new ethical strategy called “The Future of Food – a recipe for sustainability”. The strategy sets out how the retailer will tackle plastic pollution, food waste, trading fairly, healthy eating and energy saving.  


Co-op is rolling out the new bags to over 1,000 communities, which it hopes will replace around 60 million single-use plastic bags throughout the UK.  

The bags are available in Co-op food stores in communities where they are accepted by the local authority and are also approved for home composting.  

Co-op environment manager Iain Ferguson said: “Our members and customers expect us to help them to make more ethical choices, and we are dedicated to doing just that. Reducing environmental impacts is, and always has been, at the core of Co-op’s efforts.  

“The bags are carefully designed to help local authorities with food waste recycling, supporting their community and resident engagement and, reducing plastic contamination in a targeted way. We are working to get closer to what our members want, need and care about. We have committed to removing own brand plastic products, and the launch of compostable carrier bags in our stores provides an environmentally-friendly alternative to single-use plastic shopping bags. 

“We face huge global challenges and our ethical strategy sets out a recipe for sustainability to source responsibly, treat people with fairness and produce products which have minimal impact on our planet. However, we can’t do it alone and co-operation is key to our plan – we welcome measures designed to make recycling simpler and more accessible for consumers, which bring together supply and waste value chains to achieve a more circular economy.”  

The bags are priced at 5p, the same price as the single-use carrier that will be removed.

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