The Channel Islands Co-operative Society Limited has introduced a ‘plastic working group’ in a bid to further reduce the use of plastic across its stores and the environmental impact on the islands.
As part of this work, the Society has signed up to Plastic Free Jersey’s Business Toolkit, which tackles plastic pollution and the problems caused by single-use plastic. The initiative requires businesses to do their part and remove at least three single-use plastic items to make a positive environmental difference.
Eco Active’s Programme Manager, Jane Burns, said: “We are delighted that the Co-op has taken on our Plastic Free Jersey initiative. We aim to reduce plastic waste, save money and reduce our island’s carbon footprint. In Jersey, we generate more than one tonne of rubbish per person each year, therefore we are encouraging our local community to reduce plastic use and consider alternatives. With support from businesses such as the Co-op, we hope to make a real difference to the environment around us.”
The three action points which the Society has committed to includes:
- Phasing out the use of 5p single-use carrier bags, which as of 31 December 2018, will no longer be in circulation in stores.
- The aim of own brand water bottles being 100% recyclable by 2022.
- Encouraging branded supplies to be 100% recyclable by 2025.
Madeleine Norman from Plastic Free Guernsey said: “We really appreciate the Co-op’s support of our Plastic Free Communities campaign. One of our overall aims is to encourage businesses to look at their products and see where they can make changes to help reduce the use of plastics, particularly non-recyclable packaging and single use items. We are thrilled to hear that the Co-op is incorporating this initiative and making changes across its stores that will benefit our environment. The Society has also been a great help in providing us with funding from the Eco-fund, which will be used to continue raising awareness about this important issue.’”
The Channel Islands Co-operative Society’s Chief Operating Officer, Mark Cox, said: “As a community retailer, we are committed to protecting and preserving our beautiful Channel Island environments. At the Co-op, we have a target for 80% of our products to be more environmentally friendly by 2020. We believe that these small changes within our business will have a significant and positive impact to our environment in the long-term and bring us closer to achieving our goals.
“Alongside this, we are working with our local suppliers to encourage best practice with their produce and the materials they use as packaging. Customers will notice over the coming months that the remaining few brands who still use black or brown plastic will have moved to using PET containers which can be widely recycled,” he added.
The Society’s ‘Bags for Life’, which are made from 80% recycled PCW (post-consumer waste) will still be available at all stores. The Society have also introduced new trollies in the St Brelade and Charing Cross stores in Jersey, that are part made of recyclable plastics, meaning the entire trolley is now recyclable including its wheels and handles.