A FORDINGBRIDGE supermarket has been selected as one of 50 stores to trial a new recycling station.

The Co-op in High Street now has a bin for clean plastic films, including crisp packets, bread bags, chocolate wrappers, pet food pouches and pasta bags, as part of the chain’s latest recycling scheme.

This initiative forms part of a major 50-store roll out which the store says aims to tackle plastic pollution and establish an accessible disposal route for the material, which is not currently collected by UK councils.

The in-store collection points will accept all types of clean, ‘scrunchy’ plastic film and messaging around ‘clean it, scrunch it, bin it’ will feature on store signage, in a bid to educate consumers on what to do with their waste plastic.

The deposited film waste will then go on to be sorted and where possible, processed into waste disposal bin liners for use in Co-op stores.

Jo Whitfield, Co-op food CEO, said: “We want to make it easy for households to recycle all of their plastic food packaging, to prevent unnecessary waste and reduce pollution.

“Flimsy plastic film has long been a problem and people are rightly confused as to whether it can be recycled or if it should go straight in the bin.

“We’re pleased to be trialling a proposal that we hope offers a simple solution to an everyday issue. Learnings will help us to prompt a positive change in consumer behaviour over the coming months, ahead of our national roll out next year.”

On the Fordingbridge Co-op’s Facebook page it says: “At the front of the store by till one you’ll see this bin. As long as you have cleaned the packaging and scrunched it up, just pop it in and we’ll do the rest.

“Please make sure you only put in what should be in the bin, otherwise it’ll get rejected. And please do not save up your plastics, our bin is designed for little and often and plastic left on the floor is a health and safety issue.”

Following the launch of the scheme on September 8, Peter Maddox, director of the waste and resources action programme, said: “Plastic bags and wrapping make up a quarter of all plastic packaging bought today [by weight] but only four per cent is recycled.

“These plastics are light-weight yet bulky, and with few local authorities collecting them, it is frustrating for people at home to fill their bins with unrecycled packaging. This is why all members of the UK Plastics Pact have pledged to make all plastic packaging recyclable by 2025.

“It’s great to see Co-op helping to cut through the confusion and accepting all types of plastic bags and wrapping at their stores.”