Prestbury Co-op has become the latest Co-op to have a soft plastic recycling unit, making previously single-use packets and wrappers recyclable.
The unit was introduced to the store located on The Village, Prestbury earlier this month, and Macclesfield Nub News is the first to report on it.
It was opened with an event called Sustainability Live, where Co-op representatives spoke to customers about how easy it is to recycle plastics which were once thought as non-recyclable.
Soft plastics like pancake packs to bread bags - including their tags - can now be recycled in the unit as long as they are clean.
Member Pioneer Co-ordinator Martin Bates, who oversees the great work Co-op Member Pioneers do across parts of the North West, was there to tell customers about the new initiative.
"It is all part of the Co-op's long-term strategy to support climate change sustainability," he said.
"And this particular type of recycling unit is in each community in the UK, and our ambition to have them in every Co-op store by November.
"These recycling units take the soft plastics that we can't currently recycle with most local councils. Some local councils do take them, but they are few and far between.
"With these units in our stores, people can bring this packaging in, whether it is Co-op brand or not, and put it in our unit."
The examples of recyclable plastics with this new unit are vast. Wrappers from cheese, pastry, or cakes are all allowed. As are plastics covering meat, pies, teas or coffee, or baby wipe wrappers.
Packaging which contains scourers or rubber cloves can also be recycled. Flower wrappers, plastic film and pet food pouches are also eligible.
"My favourite thing about this initiative is it is making customers think about the issue more," added Martin, who has worked for the Co-op for a total of 38 years.
"Even though we all try and do our best, it is easy to be a bit blasé with recycling over what goes where.
"This is making you rethink your whole attitude to recycling, for a greater good."
Soft plastics should be cleaned and free of food debris before being placed in the unit, which is emptied every day.
Please note: not all third-party (not from Co-op) single use soft plastics can be recycled. An example being Warbutons crumpets, but the bakery business is - like many - working on this so they can soon be recycled.
It is not the only local Co-op to have this, Macclesfield's Buxton Road Co-op for example also has a unit, but it is the first for the thousands that live close to Prestbury.
The only plastic items that can’t be recycled in this new unit are materials that are already put in people’s regular recycling bins, like plastic bottles, sandwich trays, hard plastics or compostables.
So why not bring a tote bag full of soft plastics on your next visit to the Prestbury Village Co-op, and empty it into the new unit?
The introduction is the latest eco-initiative for the Co-op, which includes introducing compostable carrier bags and scrapping plastic bags for life.
They have also claimed to have removed 331 tonnes of packaging from their fresh food and horticulture packaging.
An extensive list of what can be recycled in the 70 litre capacity unit can be found below:
• Baby, pet food, detergent and cleaning pouches
• Biscuits and chocolate wrapping
• Bread bags
• Bubble wrap and cling film
• Cereal liners
• Cheese, fish and meat wrapping
• Crisp and sweet bags
• Delivery bags
• Frozen food bags
• Multi-pack wrapping
• Plastic carrier bags
• Plastic film lids
• Salad, pasta and rice bags
• Toilet roll wrapping
To read more about the Co-op's Ten Point Plan for Climate Change, please click here.
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