East of England Co-op grows ink cartridge recycling partnership to fundraise for local schools

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Following a successful trial, the local retailer is rolling out ink cartridge recycling in nine more of its stores across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, in partnership with Essex based company, The Ink Bin.

Throwing away ink cartridges has a hugely negative impact on the environment. An ink cartridge can take up to 1,000 years to decompose but only seven seconds to refill.

Customers are being encouraged to return their empty ink cartridges to recycling points in their local East of England Co-op store. When the cartridges are returned, they are refilled and reused so that they don’t go to waste. Not only is this much better for the environment, but it creates a profit, which the local retailer is donating to local schools.

East of England Co-op joint chief executive, Roger Grosvenor said: “We’re proud to be working with The Ink Bin to encourage recycling and support our local schools. As our region’s largest independent retailer, we feel we have an important role to play in promoting sustainability. So, please take a look to see if your local store has an ink cartridge recycling point. When you drop off your used ink cartridges, you’ll be doing something great for the environment and supporting your local school.”

The Ink Bin recycling points in East of England Co-op stores are run by Colchester-based company The Ink Bin, established in 2019 as a fresh and new way to tackle plastic pollution and support local communities.

The Ink Bin Managing Director, Becky Baines said: “After nearly twenty years in teaching, I felt empowered to establish a company focused on building a greener future for the next generation. Our work with Eco Teams and environmental education is central to The Ink Bin’s principles so working with the East of England Co-op to support environmental projects within local schools is a wonderful opportunity.”

The East of England Co-op Stanway Supermarket in Colchester has had an Ink Bin recycling point in its store for over a year, saving hundreds of ink cartridges from going to landfill and raising money for local primary school, Stanway Fiveways.

Students from Stanway Fiveways joined Ink Bin Managing Director, Becky, on a visit to the East of England Co-op Supermarket to learn more about the ink cartridge recycling scheme.

Lynn Frost, Parent and Eco Coordinator and member of the School Admin Team, said: “It was lovely to see the children so excited about helping others to be more eco-friendly. There was such a buzz afterwards walking back to school with them thinking of other ways we can help the environment.”

Annabelle, aged 8, of Stanway Fiveways primary school added: “It was really good fun, meeting new people who can help us to help others recycle.”

You can find Ink Bin recycling points at the following East of England Co-op stores (all home-use cartridges are accepted):

  • Stanway Supermarket, Colchester, Essex
  • West Mersea Supermarket, Barfield Road, Essex
  • Wivenhoe Food store, The Avenue, Essex
  • Manningtree Supermarket, Riverside Avenue East, Essex
  • Broke Hall Food store, Ipswich, Suffolk
  • Coggeshall Food store, East Street, Suffolk
  • Woodbridge Supermarket, Hamblin Walk, Suffolk
  • Hadleigh Supermarket, High Street, Suffolk
  • Felixstowe Supermarket, Hamilton Road, Suffolk
  • Long Stratton Supermarket, The Street, Norfolk
  • Dereham Road Food store, Norwich, Norfolk
  • Harleston Supermarket, Bullock Fair Close, Norfolk