Reducing waste at the East of England Co-op

We are trying to reduce our waste and keep as much food in the food chain as possible. We have decided to start selling food past the Best Before date to help reduce the levels of waste that our stores have. 

Even if it means selling it for just 10p. 

We are now trailling a new partnership with Ipswich Borough Council which aims to improve understanding of and boost recycling rates in Ipswich.

Find a branch


Can we use your location to find the nearest branches to you?

East of England Co-op wins prestigious national award for ground-breaking food waste scheme

The East of England Co-op has won at The Grocer Gold Awards in recognition of its trailblazing food waste reduction initiative to sell products past their Best Before date.

Find out more

East of England Co-op wins second industry award for waste reduction campaign

The East of England Co-op has won a prestigious Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) Sustainable Futures Award for its ‘Co-op Guide to Dating’ campaign.

Find out more

East of England announces pilot partnership to encourage more recycling

The East of England Co-op has announced a new partnership with Ipswich Borough Council which aims to improve understanding of and boost recycling rates in Ipswich.

Find out more

Best before dates:

Best Before dates are quality dates given by the manufacturer. A great deal of products will not deteriorate even after the Best Before date has passed. We are legally allowed to sell products that have passed their Best Before date. 

Use by dates:

Use By dates on the other hand are applied to products that may be harmful if eaten past the Use By date. They are used for products that have  a short shelf life, including milk and meat. Products with a Use By date cannot be sold after their expiration date.

The food we will be selling is still edible and enjoyable  past its Best Before date, but it needs to be eaten as soon as possible after purchase.  It is mainly tinned and dried goods where eating past the Best Before date is still perfectly safe. We are now including fruit, cakes, vegetables and bread.

To find your nearest East of England Co-op food store, click here.

Did you know?

  • 30–50% of food produced globally for human consumption is wasted every year

  • That’s 7.3 million tonnes per year in the UK,  or 20,000 tonnes every day

  • The average UK family wastes almost £60  per month on uneaten food

  • For the average UK family with children that’s almost £720 per year spent on uneaten food

To find out more about 'The Co-op Guide to Dating' click here. 


Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey MP has paid a visit to the East of England Co-op to discuss the independent retailer’s latest waste reduction efforts.

Find out more

Reducing food waste

Interested in reading more tips on reducing waste in your home?