Coop Denmark gives away 700,000 reusable bags

The co-operative wants to help members and customers tackle plastic waste

Danish retailer Coop will be distributing 700,000 reusable bags to members to encourage them to replace plastic bags with a climate-friendly, sustainable alternative.

Customers who use the new bags will also receive a one-krone bonus into their member account every time they use them. The reusable bags will be distributed across its network of stores to members of SuperBrugsen, Kvickly, Dagli’ and LokalBrugsen, Facts, and Irma.

Made from renewable sugar cane based polyethylene, the reusable bags are climate friendly, unlike plastic bags, which are made from fossil resources. While growing, the plants used to make the bags also absorb CO2 emissions. The bags are produced under an International Sustainability and Carbon Certification.

After distributing the first 700,000 reusable bags for free, the co-op will begin selling these at 10 krones (£1.19).

“We want to help Danes change habits.” said Signe Frese, corporate social responsibility manager. “Instead of buying a new carrier bag every time they are in the supermarket, we want them to remember this bag, which can be used hundreds of times.

“Today’s consumption of plastic is a problem we take seriously. One-time bags, which we use and throw away quickly, are not good for the environment. Therefore, we have developed a climate-friendly recycling chain. But we also need untraditional methods to make Danes change habits. Therefore, we’ll share them for free and reward our members with bonuses every time they use the bag.”

President of Denmark’s Nature Conservation Association, Maria Reumert Gjerding, welcomed the initiative. She said: “Genius, finally a solution that promotes the reuse of the carrier bag, and even with an economic incentive for the consumer. We could not be more positive. Recycling the carrying bags is the best we can do for our environment. We hope, of course, that the solution will be permanent.”