Britain's Co-op has announced that it has removed plastic packaging from its entire 2021 Christmas gifting range.
The initiative includes a plastic-free Christmas wrapping paper range, which has helped the retailer remove almost a million pieces of plastic from its packaging and products.
In addition, the wrapping paper is fully recyclable and provides a sustainable alternative to combat waste.
According to research from GWP Group, consumers in the UK use around 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year, with over 1032 miles ending up in waste bins.
The gifting range also includes crackers, cards, and accessories that are 100% recyclable, with all ribbons made of a cellulose-based, plastic-free material.
Bag handles and cracker contents have switched to paper or a more sustainable option, the retailer added.
The retailer has also removed plastic and introduced new packaging featuring cardboard trays for its Irresistible Chocolate range.
Simon Robinson, product developer at Co-op, said, “Last year we made great strides to reduce our use of plastic in our Christmas range, and this year we have gone above and beyond, with plans to launch the most sustainable gifting range in 2022.
“We’re looking forward to a Christmas that will hopefully be a little more normal and the gift of giving will be back in full swing.”
Co-op launched one of Europe’s most extensive in-store recycling schemes for plastic bags and product wrapping in July of this year.
As part o the scheme, the retailer has installed recycling units for ‘soft plastics' in over 1,500 stores, and is expected to expand to 2,300 outlets by November.
The initiative aims to ensure easy recyclability of all its own-brand food packing by establishing an accessible disposal route for materials that are unlikely to be collected by UK councils.
These include crisp packets, bread bags, single-use carrier bags and bags-for-life, lids from ready meals and yoghurt pots, biscuit wrappers, and pet-food pouches.
In September, the British supermarket group reported a first half loss and warned the country's supply chain disruption would put pressure on full year profit.