Central England Co-op ends provision of single-use carrier bags

Central England Co-operative has announced it no longer offers single-use carrier bags in its food stores as it reaffirms its commitment to the environment.

The retailer has revealed that it has phased the bags out of circulation in recent months across 244 stores and they are now no longer available, saving 12 million pieces of single-use plastic per year.

Customers will now be offered a 10p biodegradable bag for life as an alternative or, where local council refuse collections can accommodate, a compostable bag.

A particularly noteworthy achievement revealed today by the retailer is that its total carbon footprint has now reduced by 70%* since 2010, leaping from 59% when it was last measured.

The reduction has been delivered thanks to the halving of energy consumption through the installation of a range of energy efficient technologies such as LED lighting, solar panels and adding doors to chillers, alongside changes to its funeral and distribution network reducing road miles and increasing fuel efficiency.

Luke Olly, Central England Co-op’s Energy and Environment Lead, said, “As a responsible business, we are committed to minimising our impact on the environment

“We are particularly proud to be able to say we have reduced our carbon footprint by 70% since 2010, which is a significant achievement, and have also removed all single-use carrier bags as part of our ongoing efforts to tackle plastic pollution.

“We will continue to work on our long-term focus areas, aligned with UN Sustainable Development goals, which are to mobilise on climate change, minimise plastics impact, collaborate on waste, accessible sustainable products, improving community air quality and protecting water resources.”

Other environmental achievements accomplished by Central England Co-operative include:
> The rollout of a pioneering food redistribution scheme to 230 Food Stores that is set to cut food waste by 40%
> Achieving the Carbon Trust Standard for carbon, waste and water reduction for a second time

Central England Co-operative also continues to support The Courtauld Commitment 2025 as a signatory, an ambitious voluntary agreement bringing together organisations across the food system to help cut the carbon, water and waste associated with food & drink by at least one-fifth in 10 years.