East of England Co-op has announced a new partnership with Ipswich Borough Council to boost recycling rates in Ipswich.
The retailer will run an in-store trial to increase awareness of items that can and can’t be recycled, and introduce recycling points for plastic packaging, carrier bags and batteries – items which can’t currently be recycled at home – in its 20 stores across Ipswich.
The idea for the partnership emerged when the co-op looked at ways to follow its Co-op Guide to Dating initiative, where it became the first retailer to sell products past their best before date, in a bid to reduce food waste.
Joint CEO Roger Grosvenor said: “The reaction to our Co-op Guide to Dating campaign inspired us to look at other ways we can help our customers reduce waste. While doing our research we became bamboozled by the complexities and misunderstanding around recycling, and set out to do what we could to provide some clarity.
“Our Guide to Dating has cut the amount of food we waste by 33% – that’s around 350 tonnes in just over a year. But we wanted to do more, which is why we’re introducing this pilot scheme to help our customers and members to recycle more.”
The partnership launched on 14 January and will run until the middle of May, before being rolled out across the whole society.
The recycling bins will be located at four larger food stores in central Ipswich (Broke Hall, Henley Rise, Chantry and Ravenswood) and are free to use for all customers.
The campaign focuses on addressing the six biggest contributors to recycling contamination in Ipswich. These are:
- Used nappies cannot be recycled (over 1,000 are removed by hand from waste sent for recycling)
- Glass must be recycled separately
- Aerosol cans can be recycled
- Aluminium foil must be clean and rolled into a tennis sized ball
- Crisp packets can’t be put in your recycling bin
- TetraPak cartons can be recycled