East of England Co-operative has announced new in-store recycling points for plastic packaging, carrier bags and batteries, with aims to boost recycling rates in Ipswich.

In partnership with Ipswich Borough Council, the Society will run an in-store trial to increase awareness of items that can and cannot be recycled across its 20 Ipswich-based stores.

East of England Co-op joint chief executive, Roger Grosvenor, said the Co-op Guide to Dating campaign inspired the retailer to look at other ways to help its customers reduce waste.

“Whilst doing our research we became bamboozled by the complexities and misunderstanding around recycling, and set out to do what we could to provide some clarity,” he said.

“Our Guide to Dating has cut the amount of food we waste by 33% - that’s around 350 tonnes in just over a year. But we wanted to do more, which is why we’re introducing this pilot scheme to help our customers and members to recycle more.”

Under the Co-op Guide to Dating initiative, tinned foods, packets, cereal, fruit and vegetables, bread, cake and dried food are all sold for 10p after they have passed their best before date.

Ipswich Borough Council councillor, Phil Smart, added: “Reducing the amount of waste we generate is everyone’s responsibility, and it’s fantastic that the East of England Co-op are prepared to play such an active role.

“Helping people understand what and how they can recycle is complicated, and this partnership will be very helpful in addressing those challenges in Ipswich. Their initiative to cut food waste is an example to other stores. The less food we waste, the more we have to spend on other items and everyone gains.”

The partnership launched on 14 January and the trial will run until mid-May 2019, before being rolled out across the whole Society.