Tackling Single-Use Plastics
Introducing our '1Change' Campaign
Why Is This Issue So Important?
94% of our members researched agree that reducing plastics usage is a high priority.
Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items are things like plastic bags, straws, water bottles and packaging.
Plastics and their byproducts are littering our communities, oceans, and waterways, and causing damage to our ecosystems.
Our Society aims to reduce the overall waste we produce across our operations, products and services, whilst providing co-operative solutions working with members and the next generation of co-operators to help tackle single-use plastics.
Through our day to day operations we aim to:
- Reduce the overall waste that we produce by 20% by 2022
- Maintain a 99% recycling rate
- Work with our communities to minimise landfill by supporting local initiatives that turn waste into something useful
Across our Premium Supermarkets we aim to:
- Remove all single-use plastic shopping bags and fresh produce bags by 2020
- Enable customers to bring their own containers for products from our meat and delicatessen counters by 2020
We are working with other retail co-operatives to ensure that by 2023:
- All our own-brand packaging will be easy to recycle
- We will eliminate single-use own-brand plastic products and packaging
Working with our members and the next generation we will:
- Engage 50 partner schools and education establishments in ‘plastic is not fantastic’ education and campaigns by 2022
- Engage members in taking action to reduce the impact of single-use plastics
- Set up a member volunteering project to clean up plastic pollution from waterways and the surrounding environment in 2019
Our Progress So Far...
Since launching our 1Change campaign earlier this year we have made some positive impacts in tackling single-use plastic working with our members, colleagues and community partners. Key highlights include the following….
- Engaged 900 pledges to help tackle single-use plastics
- Re-used waste plastics by enabling 1,000 eco bricks to be created
- Removed 383 bags of litter from the natural environment
- Replaced single-use plastic bags with compostable bags in over 100 Food Stores, reducing over 3 million plastic bags per annum
- Reducing 289,000 items of plastic per annum through our operational activity, equivalent to circa 2.2 tonnes of plastic per annum
- A further 1,350 tonnes of plastic reduced per annum through co-operative own brand packaging working with other Co-operative Retailers
Play Your Part - 60 seconds to save the world!
Cooking from scratch, shopping for a new wardrobe and even just doing a decent food shop are among the things Brits want to do but don’t have time for. Modern life has left the nation with not even a minute to spare, meaning niggling DIY jobs, recycling, exercising and catching up with our parents on a quick phone call are all taking a back seat.
Research polling 2,000 UK adults revealed the things people wished they had more time for, which also included helping out with their local community and finishing off a book that was started months back.
A fifth wished they had more spare moments to take better care of the environment, but find themselves rushed off their feet and cutting corners as a result.
To help overcome the challenge posed by a shortage of time, we’re continuing our 1Change initiative to reduce single-use plastic by encouraging people to make 1Change in 1Minute to demonstrate that even the shortest amount of time can be used to make a collective impact.
See what you can achieve in 1 minute and showcase your activity through social media using #1Change @midcounties, or update us through the pledge option on this page.
Click here to see our 1Change Report findings
Our Environmental Ambassador - Cal Major
Cal is an Environmentalist and founder of Paddle Against Plastic raising awareness of the amount of plastic being washed up on beaches in the UK. Paddle Against Plastic uses paddle boarding adventures to capture peoples’ imagination, highlighting the issue of plastic pollution and promoting positive change by proposing simple solutions that we can all be a part of.
We feel that Cal is the perfect Environmental Ambassador for our 1Change campaign as she shares our commitment to find positive solutions to combat single-use plastic. Working with our members and the next generation, we will be running volunteering projects such as clean-ups and ecobrick workshops.
Educating Members and the Next Generation
Engaged 900 pledges made to tackle single-use plastics
Enabled 1,000 eco bricks to be created to build our Turkey Shed at Fairy Tale Farm near Chipping Norton
Implemented point of sale plastic reduction and recycling advice
Collected 383 bags of litter through our World Environment Day Community Tidy Up activity involving 724 volunteers, including the following;
- 274 colleagues
- 62 members
- 388 school children
Our World Environment Day activities...
Thanks to our members and colleagues for your support on the 5th of June to celebrate World Environment Day. As part of our 1Change campaign we carried out volunteering to help tidy up across our 20 Regional Community areas. We had over 700 people volunteering on the day, and overall we cleaned over 380 bags of waste from the environment.