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Picking up on the plastic problem

By Daniel Jungwirth

October 9, 2019

Plastic is versatile. It can be any colour and any shape; it can be strong or weak but still safe for food and durable.

But the world has a plastic problem – it’s hard to get rid of it. It doesn’t break down easily, and only a fraction is recycled. In some cases, it can’t be.

FCL recognizes the need to reduce plastic waste, and we’re actively seeking solutions, particularly with single-use plastic.

For instance, we evaluate Co-op-branded product packaging and in-store packaging to increase recyclability of materials and reduce the amount of plastic waste entering the landfill. We’ve also introduced compostable Co-operative Coffee pods and 100 per cent recycled Co-op Gold Bottled Water. We also ensure that paper and compostable plastic straws are available to local co-ops to offer at their locations.           

And we’ve launched a new program that will reduce the number of single-use plastic bags at local co-ops. Reusable bags are available for purchase, reducing the need for single-use plastic bags, and, if a customer chooses it, an improved plastic grocery bag will contain 35 per cent post-consumer recycled content. FCL and local co-ops also collect plastic bags and palette wrap to be recycled and repurposed. Between 2014 and 2018, almost 1.2 million kilograms has been repurposed into durable composite decking available at Co-op Home Centres.

We track all the waste generated at our distribution centres, looking for opportunities to divert waste from landfills through donations, composting and recycling. FCL will continue to work with governments, manufacturers and local co-ops to reduce all waste, but especially that created by single-use plastics.