UK grocer Co-op is removing plastic as well as glitter from its entire Christmas celebration range, cutting out 1.1 million pieces (eight tons) of plastic.
The move applies to all of the retailer’s private brand Christmas cards, gift wrap, and bags and crackers, in a bid to reduce single-use plastics.
The retailer has also switched the toys in its private brand crackers to fun games and gifts made from recyclable materials such as metal and paper, removing 470,000 pieces of plastic (1.35 tons) alone.
In addition and to further its commitments, all of Co-op’s Christmas cards, wrap, crackers, and gift bags use metallic ink instead of glitter lamination and plastic lamination and use minimal foil to make them 100 percent recyclable and saving 1.54 tons of packaging from landfill.
The 35-strong private brand collection includes plastic-free cracker barrels, the removal of plastic windows in card boxes, minimal ribbons and handles as well as being glitter-free, reducing the impact of microplastics on the environment.
Simon Robinson, non-food product developer at Co-op said: “We are committed in helping our members and customers to make environmentally friendly choices and reducing the environmental impact of products is and always has been at the core of Co-op. This is a step in the right direction as we continue to further our sustainability commitments whilst still be able to bring a fun and elegant collection to our stores.”
With five million tons of gift wrap expected to end up in landfill each year, Co-op is also making it easier for consumers to recycle by including information on the reverse of its wrapping paper so the recipient knows to recycle it.
The move wraps up a good year for the retailer in its aim to make 100% of its private brand packaging easy-to-recycle through household curbside collection or a closed-loop in-house scheme in 2021.
Just last month, it launched an in-store film collection scheme trial for ‘scrunchable’ plastic film which aims to tackle plastic pollution and establish an accessible disposal route for the material, which is not currently collected by UK councils.
Co-op has also saved over 1,400 tons of virgin plastic from being produced each year, as it becomes the first UK retailer to switch all of its own-brand still, sparkling, flavored water, carbonated drinks, and mixers to bottles made out of 100% recycled material, meaning they will be fully recycled and recyclable.