Good causes to make "bags" of difference with £750,000 boost from the Co-op

January 20, 2016

Hundreds of good causes across Scotland are set to start the New Year with a boost to their fundraising after “bagging” a share of the money raised through carrier bag charges and sales in Co-op food stores.

The Co-op is distributing over £750,000 after calling on Scotland’s local causes and organisations to apply for funding in order to make a difference in their community.

Successful groups are being notified from today (Monday, 18 January) with grants of up to £2,500 being distributed over the coming weeks.

John McNeill, Managing Director for The Co-operative Food in Scotland, said:

“From defibrillators to day care centres and schools to scout groups, as a community retailer we want to enable members, colleagues, customers and communities across Scotland to make a difference locally.

“The Co-op shares the aspiration of seeing a reduction in the number of single-use carrier bags in circulation. In addition, hundreds of local groups and organisations are set to receive a much needed funding boost - together, we are reducing, reusing, recycling and, reinvesting in our communities.”

Scotland’s Environment Secretary, Richard Lochhead: said:

“Scotland has witnessed an incredible 80 per cent reduction in single-use carrier bag usage since the carrier bag charge was introduced in October 2014 – that’s at least 650 million fewer bags. In the process retailers have managed to raise an outstanding £7 million for good causes across the country. With the carrier bag charge we want to reduce litter and improve Scotland’s environment, but it’s great to see how it has evolved and that worthy causes are benefiting from it too. I’d like to congratulate the Co-op on its decision to distribute its funds among local groups.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland said:

“Retailers are witnessing a huge reduction in the number of carrier bags in use and, it is clear that Scottish consumers have embraced a new shopping habit. The Co-op is a community retailer and its scheme illustrates how the carrier bag charge is not only benefitting the environment, but it is also making a positive difference in the communities where the money has been raised.”

In addition to distributing the money raised by the requirement to charge for single-use carrier bags, The Co-op has also pledged to go further and top-up the fund with proceeds from its entire range of carriers, including sales of its bags-for-life and its new woven reusable shopping bags.


Further information:

Andrew Torr
The Co-op Press Office
Tel: 07702 505 551