Campaign aims to curb the six biggest causes of recycling contamination

Delegates from the East of England Co-op and Ipswich Borough Council at the launch of the new recycl

Delegates from the East of England Co-op and Ipswich Borough Council at the launch of the new recycling campaign. - Credit: Archant

East of England Co-op says putting used nappies and crisp packets into the wrong bin hinders the recycling process

The East of England Co-op has launched a campaign with Ipswich Borough Council aimed to addressing the biggest contributors to recycling contamination.

The independent retailer is running an in-store trial to increase awareness of items that can and can’t be recycled, as well as introducing recycling points for plastic packaging, carrier bags and batteries – items which can’t currently be recycled at home – in its 20 stores across the town.

The idea for the partnership emerged when the co-op began planning how it could follow up on its award-winning ‘Co-op Guide to Dating’ initiative, where it became the first retailer to start selling products that were past their best before date, in a bid to reduce food waste.

According to the joint chief executive for the East of England Co-op, Roger Grosvenor, that campaign cut food waste by 33% and he is hopeful the latest initiative can have a similar success with recycling.

“The reaction to our Co-op Guide to Dating campaign inspired us to look at other ways we can help our customers to reduce waste,” he said. “Whilst doing our research we became bamboozled by the complexities and misunderstanding around recycling, and set out to do what we could to provide some clarity.”

The campaign focuses on addressing the six biggest contributors to recycling contamination in Ipswich. These are:

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• Used nappies cannot be recycled

• Glass must be recycled separately

• Aerosol cans can be recycled

• Aluminium foil must be clean and rolled into a tennis sized ball

• Crisp packets can’t be put in your recycling bin

• TetraPak cartons can be recycled

Free to use recycling bins will be available for customers who want to recycle plastic packaging, batteries and carrier bags at East of England Co-op’s four largest food stores in central Ipswich - Broke Hall, Henley Rise, Chantry and Ravenswood. At other stores customers can hand these items over at the checkout.

Ipswich Borough councillor Phil Smart added: “Helping people understand what and how they can recycle is complicated, and this partnership will be very helpful in addressing those challenges in Ipswich.”