co-op basket

Co-op’s record on waste

Sir, Last week’s article (‘Co-op urges more recyclable packaging,’ 26 November, p5), gives an inaccurate and misleading impression of the huge advances the Co-op has made in ensuring its packaging is easily recyclable.

As environment manager for the Co-op, it is clear the figures given by other retailers are measuring packaging waste by weight, whereas the Co-op measures it by SKU. It is our belief that measuring it in this way provides consumers with a more accurate representation of waste. Should the Co-op’s packaging waste be measured by weight, we would still be in a market-leading position, with in excess of 80% of our packaging easy to recycle should it be measured in this way.

Our long-term ambition is for all packaging to be recycled where it can be, and we are making a bold start by setting a target that, by 2020, 80% of our products - measured by SKU - will have packaging that is easy to recycle. Ideally we would like all retailers to be in a similar position, developing new packaging to improve recyclability. We believe a concerted effort by retailers and brands will encourage wider collection of more materials by local authorities.

Iain Ferguson, environment manager, Co-op

The editor writes: We have re-examined the figures and agree the Co-op has a valid case. We have amended our story to reflect this. Apologies.

Dangerous shaming

Sir, Michael Gove’s ‘I think people in this country have had enough of experts’ was one of the most troubling statements heard during the Brexit debate.

When Joanna Blythman (Second Opinion, 19 November) states that advice from the WHO is ‘rooted in a myth’ she does much to help this damaging rhetoric. When she goes on to state that fringe scientific beliefs and fad diets like ‘clean eating’ are somehow more rooted in truth than complex systematic reviews carried out by public health bodies across the world, she demonstrates a lack of understanding of evidence and the same sort of dangerous expert shaming that has caused such political damage.

Anthony Warner, development chef and food writer

Accepting contactless

Sir, Despite McColl’s rollout in all 1,366 of its stores (McColl’s completes contactless rollout, 26 November), surprisingly the convenience sector still has a long way to go in accepting contactless payment. To cut down unwanted queues and learn more about their customers, enabling contactless should be a top priority for small grocery and convenience stores.

Raj Sond, General Manager at First Data