East of England Co-op rolls out ink cartridge recycling scheme

The society is working with local firm Ink Bin on the scheme, which raises funds for schools in its trading area

After a successful pilot, East of England Co-op is rolling out ink cartridge recycling in nine more of its stores across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, in partnership with Essex-based company, The Ink Bin.

Throwing away ink cartridges has a hugely negative impact on the environment. An ink cartridge can take up to 1,000 years to decompose but only seven seconds to refill.

Customers are being encouraged to return their empty ink cartridges to recycling points in their local East of England store, so they can be refilled and reused so that they don’t go to waste. This also creates a profit, which the local retailer is donating to local schools.

East of England Co-op joint chief executive, Roger Grosvenor said: “We’re proud to be working with the Ink Bin to encourage recycling and support our local schools. As our region’s largest independent retailer, we feel we have an important role to play in promoting sustainability. So, please take a look to see if your local store has an ink cartridge recycling point. When you drop off your used ink cartridges, you’ll be doing something great for the environment and supporting your local school.”

The Ink Bin recycling points in East of England Co-op stores are run by Colchester-based company the Ink Bin, established in 2019 as a fresh and new way to tackle plastic pollution and support local communities.

Ink Bin managing director, Becky Baines said: “After nearly 20 years in teaching, I felt empowered to establish a company focused on building a greener future for the next generation. Our work with Eco Teams and environmental education is central to The Ink Bin’s principles so working with the East of England Co-op to support environmental projects within local schools is a wonderful opportunity.”

The society’s Stanway stpre in Colchester has had an Ink Bin recycling point in its store for over a year, saving hundreds of ink cartridges from going to landfill and raising money for local primary school, Stanway Fiveways.

Students from Stanway Fiveways joined Ink Bin Managing Director, Becky, on a visit to the East of England Co-op Supermarket to learn more about the ink cartridge recycling scheme. The scheme – which accepts all home cartridges – has now been rolled out to:

  • Stanway Supermarket, Colchester, Essex
  • West Mersea Supermarket, Barfield Road, Essex
  • Wivenhoe Food store, The Avenue, Essex
  • Manningtree Supermarket, Riverside Avenue East, Essex
  • Broke Hall Food store, Ipswich, Suffolk
  • Coggeshall Food store, East Street, Suffolk
  • Woodbridge Supermarket, Hamblin Walk, Suffolk
  • Hadleigh Supermarket, High Street, Suffolk
  • Felixstowe Supermarket, Hamilton Road, Suffolk
  • Long Stratton Supermarket, The Street, Norfolk
  • Dereham Road Food store, Norwich, Norfolk
  • Harleston Supermarket, Bullock Fair Close, Norfolk