Co-op follows Asda in bringing huge change to products in some UK stores

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British supermarkets are doing their bit to help the environment and reduce the use of plastic. In a recent eco-friendly decision, both Co-op and Asda have will introduce refillable packaging to their stores by the end of 2021. 

Co-op is leading the way for other British supermarkets as the retailer has already banned the sale of all plastic bags in its stores.

The company banned the sale of bags for life back in April, forcing shoppers to bring their own cotton bags to stores instead.

Morrisons no longer sells plastic bags in its branches either.

The supermarket has replaced its plastic bags for life with sturdy paper bags, costing 30p each.

Now, in its latest bid to reduce plastic pollution, Co-op has partnered with Unilever to introduce refillable products to its stores.

Some Co-op branches are launching new self-refill stations which will allow customers to fill up their own reusable containers with a range of items.

Shoppers will be able to fill containers with groceries, as well as household products such as Persil Non-Bio, Alberto Balsam shampoo, and Radox shower gel.

The stations will be put in place in Co-op convenience stores in Rugby, York, Milton Keynes, and Glasgow.

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This will be the first time that the refill stations will appear in Co-op stores, but they have already appeared in other supermarkets.

Asda launched its first refill station in a Leeds store last year, and it is expanding the scheme due to its popularity.

The supermarket is introducing the refillable packaging system to the same locations as Co-op, with the York store set to be its largest.

The grocer said it had plans to install 18 standalone refill bays in the shop, which will feature more than 70 branded and own-label products.

The refill stations in Asda’s York branch will open in October.

It is not yet clear however when customers can expect to see the refill stations in Co-op stores.

Both supermarkets partnered with Unilever after the organisation found that 94 percent of consumers in the UK are more likely to invest in refills, compared to buying new products in store, if they are available.

It also found that 89 percent of Britons are likely to buy a product because its packaging can be reused.

Sebastian Munden, Unilever UK and Ireland’s general manager commented on the new scheme.

He said: “To tackle plastic pollution with the speed and urgency needed, we are committed to creating scalable solutions which make it as easy as possible for people to make sustainable choices.

“We believe refills could be a gamechanger in our ambitions to halve our use of virgin plastic by 2025, however unlocking the full potential of the reuse economy would require a significant shift in how people shop.

“Using our well-known and trusted brands and working closely with retailers, we are testing different refill models on a large scale in order to continue to build our understanding of how to bring about a significant change most effectively.”

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