The Co-op has revealed its plans to switch all of its bottled water to 50% recycled plastic (rPET) in the hope of finding out whether consumers are ready to eliminate more “aesthetically pleasing packaging”.
These bottles are 100% recyclable and do appear darker and cloudier than those using less or no recycled plastic, the retailer said, but will try and test what ethical customers will turn to when it comes to their buying choices.
The Co-op has estimated that it can save around 350 tonnes of plastic every year when it makes the change on all of its own brand of still, sparkling and flavoured water later this year.
Reducing the environmental impact of its products is a key action says the retailer, and last year they backed the initiative for 100% of its product packaging to be easily recyclable.
It is also pledging to fight the “grey area” of black and hidden plastics and plans to rid its aisles of “vanity” black and dark coloured plastic by 2020.
Co-op Food chief executive Jo Whitfield 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.”