The Co-operative Group is rolling out its zero waste to landfill scheme to its entire food store estate.

The society already operates a waste backhaul initiative in 1,500 stores, but said it will now roll this out to more than 2,800 stores by the summer.

It means more than 34,000 tonnes of food store waste will be diverted away from landfill every year, which will be recycled, reused, turned into energy or sold on.

“The Co-op has one of the largest and most complex networks of all food retailers in the UK and we therefore needed a robust, but commercially viable, strategy to meet our own tough targets,” said director of trading property David Roberts.

“The waste back-haul project is a win-win solution. It will not only divert all our food store waste away from landfill, but will also convert it into a valuable resource, which we believe sets new standards in waste management.”