Thank you to the Co-op in Easington Colliery for inviting me to the launch of its soft plastic recycling initiative.
The Co-op is at the forefront of tackling the plastic pollution crisis by diverting soft plastics that cannot be recycled by the Local Authority away from landfill.
Over 1,500 Co-op stores across the country will allow the public to recycle soft plastics in-store, regardless of where they are bought. The Co-op has pledged to roll out the service to a further 800 stores by the end of the year.
In East Durham the service is available at the Co-op stores at Easington Colliery, Murton, Blackhall and Shotton.
The scheme will divert plastic away from landfill and to one of three recycling centres. The plastics are then ground into pellets which are then reused to make items such as plastic bags.
Soft plastics can frequently end up polluting our oceans, seas, and rivers, presenting a risk to wildlife and our coastline.
While the Co-op lead the way, I believe all supermarkets should offer these services, as well as taking action to reduce single-use plastics
The Easington Colliery launch showed great demand for the service and it was good to see so many local people already engaging with the campaign to reduce plastic waste.
It was great to see the Easington Primary School supporting the campaign by collecting soft plastic waste at school to recycle them in store.
We need more of these community initiatives to make it easier for people to make good environmental choices.