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Recycle your soft plastic in local Co-op stores

  • Author: Southern Co-operative
  • Published: 13th October 2022
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Recycle your soft plastic in local Co-op stores

Soft plastics, such as cling film, biscuit wrappers and carrier bags, can now be recycled in even more co-operative convenience store locations in Hampshire.

Following the success of its trials and in response to customer demand, Southern Co-op now has soft plastics recycling bins in 66 of its stores in Hampshire - a total of 167 across the south of England – including stores in Clanfield, Cowplain and Denmead.

The independent, regional co-operative hopes its expansion of soft plastics recycling bins to more than 80% of all of its stores will enable more customers to safely recycle materials that can't be recycled at home.

Simon Eastwood, Chief Operating Officer for Retail at Southern Co-op, said:

"We would ask recyclers to double check if their plastics can be recycled before putting it in the bin. One way to do this is the scrunch test*. It also needs to have had a quick clean but it doesn't need to have been bought in store to be recycled with us." (*Scrunch test: scrunch it up tight - if it pings back, it's a useful indicator it's soft plastic and can be recycled.)

All Co-op branded food packaging is now easy to recycle through a combination of kerbside collections and soft plastic recycling in store. The recyclable material is turned into plastic granules to be made into secondary products such as bin liners, buckets, and construction industry materials.

Examples of acceptable items for recycling project include:

Bread bags, produce bags, ordinary carrier bags, kitchen towel, toilet roll and nappy bag wrappers, cotton wool bags, cereal box liners, frozen foods bags, ice cubes bags, yogurt, cream and desserts lidding film; lids from packs of meat and ready meals; lidding film from cheese packs, wrapping around chicken, fruit and veg flow wrap, chocolate wrappers, croissants, pancakes and crumpet etc wrappers; biscuit, cakes and Yorkshire puddings wrappers, flower wrappers, dried fruit, sugar, pulses, rice and pasta bags; protective wrappers from gift wrap, bags from gift tags, pastry packaging, household textiles bags and similar, such as all-purpose cloths, dusters, dishcloths, rubber gloves and scourers; pet food wrappers, pies, pasties and sausage roll wrappers, bagged sweets, pizza wrappers, porridge and muesli pouch bags, and packaging from baby wipes and similar.

Gemma Lacey, Director of Sustainability and Communications at Southern Co-op, said: "We know the appetite for change is there within our communities and together we can all play our part in making a positive difference to our environment and our communities."

All store waste is already diverted from landfill with dry mixed items separated for recycling and food broken down to produce biogas and bio-fertiliser through anaerobic digestion.

This forms part of Southern Co-op's climate action activity. It also has ambitious science based targets to cut direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions from its business by 2030.

To view Southern Co-op's commitment to climate change and responsible business strategy, visit

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Recycle your soft plastic in local Co-op stores

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