Co-op To Reduce Waste To Landfill With Recyclable Pizza Bases

The Co-op is aiming to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by replacing the usual polystyrene bases for its pizza packaging with recyclable cardboard. 

Corrugated cardboard pizza discs have replaced polystyrene across the convenience store operator’s 17 own-brand pizzas, which will prevent 200 tonnes of polystyrene boards going to landfill, and create almost 450 tonnes of cardboard for recycling annually, it says.

The pizza boards, which are manufactured by Stateside, also have a lower carbon impact, weighing less than a third of their nearest competitors (Co-op discs weigh 20g, versus Waitrose solid discs weighing 70g).

“This change is a major step in our journey to make all of our packaging easy to recycle, and we will be making further announcements on packaging in the months ahead.”

Later this month, the Co-op could become the only retailer to set a target to make 100% of its own-brand packaging recyclable. Its members will vote at the Co-op’s annual AGM on 20 May to decide.

With an immediate target of making 80% of own-brand packaging recyclable by 2020, some of the other innovations recently introduced to achieve this include changing black plastic trays for mushrooms to widely recycled blue, and swapping to a single plastic material for cooked meat trays.

The Co-op will also be moving from black plastic to card packaging for tomatoes later this year.

Iain Ferguson, environment manager at the Co-op, said: “Pizza discs have been high on our priority list for some time, and we’ve been working hard to find the right replacement.

“This change is a major step in our journey to make all of our packaging easy to recycle, and we will be making further announcements on packaging in the months ahead.”

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  1. Whilst I applaud the move to a more sustainable packaging solution, in my experience pizza bases are always covered in food (loose cheese & toppings etc) doesn’t this confuse the message about quality of materials required for kerbside collections?

    To an outsider this looks a bit like a retailer working in isolation from collection authorities and reprocessors.

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