The East of England Co-op is introducing recycling points in 20 stores across Ipswich.
Customers will be able to recycle plastic packaging, carrier bags and batteries via bins located at Broke Hall, Henley Rise, Chantry and Ravenswood food stores, while the remaining shops will collect waste material at the checkout.
The society has collaborated with Ipswich Borough Council to launch the trial, which began this week (14 January) and will run until the middle of May.
The Co-op said the idea for the partnership emerged following its ‘Co-op Guide to Dating’ initiative, which sells products that are past their best-before date in a bid to reduce food waste.
“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,” said Roger Grosvenor, joint chief executive for the East of England Co-op. “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 Co-op claims its Guide to Dating has cut the amount of wasted food by 33% - around 350 tonnes in just over a year.
Councillor Phil Smart of Ipswich Borough Council said: “Reducing the amount of waste we generate is everyone’s responsibility, and it’s fantastic that the East of England Co-op is prepared to play such an active role.
“Helping people understand what and how they can recycle is complicated, and this partnership will be very helpful in addressing those challenges in Ipswich. Their initiative to cut food waste is an example to other stores. The less food we waste, the more we have to spend on other items and everyone gains.”