Co-op Group removes plastic from its Christmas gifting range

The retailer says the move saves almost a million pieces of plastic

The Co-op Group has announced the launch of its plastic-free Christmas wrapping paper range.

The retailer says the removal of plastic film from around the rolls of Christmas wrap has saved almost a million pieces of plastic as it continues its commitment to sustainability, removing unnecessary plastic from its packaging and products.

Concern over plastic waste has been growing in recent years and Group says it has been at the forefront of removing plastic and unnecessary packaging, replacing plastic stems from cotton buds before any other retailer almost 15 years ago and removing hard-to-recycle black plastic from its shelves in 2019.

Research by GWP Group shows consumers in the UK will use 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year and that over 1,032 miles of this will end up in waste bins. The Group’s new look Christmas wrapping paper is fully recyclable and provides a sustainable alternative to combat the huge amount of waste.

The full gifting range includes crackers, cards and accessories which are also 100% recyclable. All ribbons have been changed to a cellulose-based plastic-free material and bag handles and cracker contents have been changed to paper or a more sustainable option.

New packaging has also been developed for the Group’s Irresistible Chocolate box range, with all plastic removed and a cardboard tray.

Product developer Simon Robinson said: “Last year we made great strides to reduce our use of plastic in our Christmas range, and this year we have gone above and beyond, with plans to launch the most sustainable gifting range in 2022. We’re looking forward to a Christmas that will hopefully be a little more normal and the gift of giving will be back in full swing.”

In July, Co-op announced the launch of Europe’s most extensive in-store recycling scheme for plastic bags and soft product wrapping, with facilities launched in over 1,500 stores 2,300 stores by November.

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