Innovations to Tackle Single-Use Plastic at Co-op Chipping Norton
Published 9 Apr 2019
As part of its ‘1Change’ strategy to reduce the use of single-use plastic, The Midcounties Co-operative has unveiled two new pioneering initiatives at Co-op Chipping Norton.
The first innovation is a reverse vending machine which enables shoppers to return their plastic bottles to store, and for every bottle returned, 5p will be donated across a selection of local primary schools.
In addition, the store has launched a project which will see plastic waste turned into reusable ecobricks. The reusable building blocks are created by packing clean and dry plastic into a plastic bottle to a set density. They are then used to make furniture, garden spaces and walls for the community. The store will use waste from its back-of-house operations to make eco bricks and is also encouraging shoppers to bring in their own eco bricks (plastic bottles filled with clean, dry plastic waste).
As part of the ecobricks project, The Midcounties Co-operative has partnered with Fairytale Farm, a local charity, to produce a turkey shelter and visitor benches.
Mike Pickering, Co-operative Social Responsibility Manager at The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “As part of our 1Change initiative to help reduce the use of single-use plastic, we are encouraging our members and customers to get involved with these pioneering initiatives. They can visit our store in Chipping Norton and return their plastic bottles and bring with them their own eco bricks made from plastic waste. The reverse vending machine and eco bricks projects will help ensure we are supporting local schools and community projects while also reducing the amount of single-use plastic that is disposed of.
“We’re also working with local primary schools to develop the ecobricks as part of our ‘Plastic is Not Fantastic’ schools programme.”
As part of The Midcounties Co-operative’s 1Change strategy, the store also features informative point-of-sale signage throughout the aisles to help customers make a change to reduce single-use plastic.
1Change is designed to drive real change through The Midcounties Co-operative’s operations and through the collective actions of members and consumers. It also incorporates The Midcounties Co-operative’s waste reduction objectives, which see it working towards a target to reduce waste in its operations by 20% by 2022, while maintaining its current 99% recycling rate. Achieving this target will mean diverting 3,000 tonnes of operational waste from landfill and save it £200,000 per annum on costs.
People can make a 1Change pledge to reduce single-use plastic by clicking here.