Co-op to introduce “greyish”-coloured 100 pc recycled plastic water bottles

31st March 2018 | Recycling

Water bottles will turn cloudier and “greyish” amid a drive to use more recycled plastic, a major supermarket has announced. The Co-op is to switch all of its own-brand still, sparkling and flavoured water to 50pc recycled plastic bottles in a bid to cut waste.

The new bottles will have a cloudier and greyer appearance than those that do not contain recycled plastic, the supermarket said. However, the new hue would be a “badge of honour” for the company, although it admitted the move could put shoppers’ environmentally conscious credential to the test.

Co-op Food chief executive, Jo Whitfield, said, “Our customers expect us to respond to this challenge and help them make more ethical choices, and we’re dedicated to doing just that. Making these changes will also create new uses for recycled materials which in turn gives our customers greater confidence in recycling.”

The new bottles, which are 100pc recyclable and sourced in the UK, will be rolled out to all stores late this year, and will save up to 350 tonnes of plastic annually, a Co-op spokesman said.
The supermarket has also plans to rid its aisles of black and dark coloured plastic by 2020, on the grounds that it is harder for sorting machines to detect due to its pigment, and contaminates the recycling stream, reducing the usefulness and value of the recovered material.

Iain Ferguson, Co-op environment manager, said, “Suppliers are working hard to make the bottle clearer – and they already have. In the meantime, our bottles will wear this greyish colour which I see as a badge of honour – we are part of the market for recycled products and are proud of that.”

Earth’s oceans are currently home to more than 150 million tonnes of plastic, while more than 100,000 sea mammals and a million bides fide from eating or becoming tangled in plastic waste annually.

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