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Plastic-free Easter eggs

Co-op cracks plastic packaging solution for own-brand Easter eggs
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Co-op plastic-free Easter egg

Co-op is removing the plastic packaging from its Easter eggs, as part of its commitment to eliminate unnecessary plastic from its own-brand ranges.

The convenience retailer is eradicating the use of plastic inner packaging and windows for all five of its hollow Fairtrade Easter eggs, which will save over 14 tonnes of unnecessary plastic.

‘It is great to see businesses like Co-op tackling our throwaway culture head-on.. Spring should be a time to celebrate the glory of the natural world, not to pollute it.

‘We need to see more businesses, governments and individuals taking greater responsibility to tackle plastic pollution. That’s why we’re calling for a global treaty to stop plastic from leaking into our oceans. The natural world is our life support system, and we must act now to protect it.’

Sustainable materials specialist at WWF-UK

Collect and recycle scheme

The move comes as the retailer gets ready to roll out the UK’s largest ever scheme to collect and recycle plastic film.

This initiative is part of the Co-op’s ambition to make 100% of its own-brand packaging easy to recycle by the end of this year.

‘Easter egg packaging is renowned for its excessive use of unnecessary plastic, whether to protect the chocolate or to display the design of the confectionery.

‘Our teams have worked incredibly hard to deliver a new solution that ensures the egg is still protected whilst allowing our customers to see all the aspects of the eggs and their stunning designs. This is a really positive step within the packaging industry, especially for seasonal Easter lines.’

Environment manager at Co-op

Reducing virgin plastic

Co-op has also reduced its reliance on virgin or ‘new’ plastic and now uses almost 40% recycled content in own-brand packaging.

Last year Co-op became the first retailer to switch all of its 500ml, 750ml, one litre and two litre own-brand still, sparkling and flavoured water, carbonated drinks and mixers to bottles made out of 100% recycled material.

The bottles are now fully recycled and recyclable, saving 1,400 tonnes of virgin plastic from being produced each year.

In November 2020, Co-op announced plans to remove all plastic and glitter from its 2020 Christmas celebration range cutting out 1.1miliion pieces of plastic (eight tonnes).

From April 2021, Co-op will have also removed all plastic forks from its food-to-go ranges, saving 59 tonnes plastic.

Co-op plastic-free Easter egg

‘To date, we have replaced over 7,000 tonnes of virgin plastic with recycled plastic in our own brand packaging and we’re committed to eliminating all unrecyclable plastic. We’re pleased to confirm that we’re also on track to meet our target for all Co-op own-branded products to be easy to recycle this year.’

Environment manager at Co-op

Co-op’s Fairtrade, own-brand Easter eggs launch in stores nationwide from 15 February 2021.

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