In alphabetical order:

Arran Eco Savvy

The Arran Eco Savvy Community is a group based on the Isle of Arran with the aim of identifying and accomplishing environmental projects to benefit our community, increase environmental sustainability and support sustainable living, whilst working towards zero waste for Arran.

We also work to provide learning opportunities and training for vocational skills which are of benefit to all ages and abilities. This helps to increase employment opportunities and allow individuals to move towards low carbon lifestyles.


Community of Arran Seabed Trust

We are a community organisation working for the protection and restoration of the marine environment around Arran and the Clyde. We aim to:

  • improve the local marine environment for the benefit of everyone
  • help sustain the livelihood of those dependent on fishing and tourism
  • increase the popularity of the area as a diving site and tourist destination
  • educate future generations on the need for marine conservation.

COAST is recognised worldwide as one the UK’s leading community marine conservation organisations. We were responsible for the establishment of Scotland’s first No Take Zone in Lamlash Bay.


A co-operative (co-op) is a different kind of business. Our Co-op is owned by individual members and other co-ops, not big investors, and our members get a chance to have a say in how we’re run.

Profits mean members receive money, rewards and offers and a co-op can support its local community.

The Co-op on Arran is very involved in local issues and is an active parter of TAP-Arran.

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Plastics/ packaging

Why do we use plastic at all?

While being plastic-free seems on the face of things to be the right way to go, it is important to also understand that the plastic packaging that we use does protect products and reduces food waste. WRAP (leading environmental charity) has evidence showing that after storing fresh produce in the right place, keeping the plastic wrapper on has the biggest benefit for reducing food waste. In our approach with plastic packaging, we need to be conscious of consequences, intended or otherwise, so that we can make the best sustainable decisions, working closely with both supply and, waste-value supply chains.

What about biodegradable options?

Biodegradable alternatives still need a disposal route. The obvious route is to put them in food waste collections, but this is not allowed, and could result in the food waste being sent to landfill instead of being dealt with properly.

Black and deep coloured plastics are not accepted for recycling, so why do we use them?

Committed to ridding aisles of black – and dark coloured plastic (so-called vanity black plastic) – by 2020. We have already made a start on this commitment.

What is the most difficult obstacle when tackling recyclable products?

Some materials currently don’t have a market for recyclability – which means they aren’t accepted at kerbside in many areas of the country. Films and plastic bags are a good examples of this. Hidden plastics can also be tricky and you may have seen recently that we trialled a fully compostable tea bag for our 99 Tea brand, which can be accepted in food waste collections.

What does Co-op think about bottle return schemes (DRS or Deposit Return Schemes)?

We were among the first retailers in favour of the creation of a deposit return scheme which increases the overall recycling of packaging, significantly reduces litter and, importantly, helps tackle marine pollution.

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