Tackling Single-Use Plastics
Introducing our '1 Change' 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 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 1 Change 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.
We believe there is a co-operative solution to help tackle this issue, based on the concept that small changes made by many members will have a big effect making a difference regionally and nationally.
‘1 Change’ aims to drive behaviours to engage members and the next generation to tackle single-use plastics, and is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including the following:
- Responsible Consumption and Production
- Climate action
- Life below water
- Life on land
- Sustainable Cities and Communities
These Sustainable Development Goals are core to our business, supporting us to achieve our mission of creating a better, fairer world.
We are asking our members to think about one change they could make in their day-to-day lives to help tackle the impact of single-use plastics, examples could include using a carrier 'bag for life' or switching to paper straws.
You can make your pledge now by clicking the image on the right
Click here to see our One Change Report findings
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 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 One Change 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 the Next Generation
We are really passionate about educating the next generation about environmental sustainability,
We are working with 50 schools and educational establishments across our trading area on a range of initiatives.
Building on our Green Pioneers programme, in which we work with schools to educate young people around environmental sustainability, we have introduced our Plastic is not fantastic programme.
Our colleagues volunteer to visit local schools to raise awareness of the issues of single-use plastics, and help schools develop practical solutions and ideas to help tackle this issue.
We aim to engage all 50 of our partner schools and educational establishments in this programme by 2022, and ensure that all of our Co-operative Childcare Nurseries maintain Eco-Schools status - click here to find out more about our commitment to Eco-Schools