Central England Co-operative reveals the end of single-use carrier bags in its food stores as it marks World Environment Day

Central England Co-operative has announced it no longer offers single-use carrier bags in its food stores as it reaffirms its commitment to the environment.

As part of World Environment Day, which takes place on 5 June every year, the retailer has revealed that it has phased the bags out of circulation in recent months across 244 stores and they are now no longer available, saving 12 million pieces of single-use plastic per year.

Customers will now be offered a 10p biodegradable bag for life as an alternative or, where local council refuse collections can accommodate, a compostable bag.

World Environment Day encourages worldwide awareness and action to protect the environment and to mark the day the Society has highlighted a number of significant achievements in supporting the environment.

A particularly noteworthy achievement revealed today by the retailer is that its total carbon footprint has now reduced by 70%* since 2010, leaping from 59% when it was last measured.

The reduction has been delivered thanks to the halving of energy consumption through the installation of a range of energy efficient technologies such as LED lighting, solar panels and adding doors to chillers, alongside changes to its funeral and distribution network reducing road miles and increasing fuel efficiency.

Luke Olly, Central England Co-op’s Energy and Environment Lead, said: “As a responsible business, we are committed to minimising our impact on the environment

“We are delighted to mark World Environment Day by sharing with our customers and colleagues what we have achieved to reduce our impact on the environment.

“We are particularly proud to be able to say we have reduced our carbon footprint by 70% since 2010, which is a significant achievement, and have also removed all single-use carrier bags as part of our ongoing efforts to tackle plastic pollution.

“We will continue to work on our long-term focus areas, aligned with UN Sustainable Development goals, which are to mobilise on climate change, minimise plastics impact, collaborate on waste, accessible sustainable products, improving community air quality and protecting water resources.”

Other environmental achievements accomplished by Central England Co-operative include:

  • The rollout of a pioneering food redistribution scheme to 230 Food Stores that is set to cut food waste by 40%
  • Achieving the Carbon Trust Standard for carbon, waste and water reduction for a second time

Central England Co-operative also continues to support The Courtauld Commitment 2025 as a signatory, an ambitious voluntary agreement bringing together organisations across the food system to help cut the carbon, water and waste associated with food & drink by at least one-fifth in 10 years.


Notes to editors

*when benchmarked against turnover (61% absolute reduction)

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 

It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, travel shops, and property investment.

Central England Co-operative has over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.  The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2019.

Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.

Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing members@centralengland.coop or visiting https://www.members.coop

For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative

Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390

Email – publicrelations@centralengland.coop