// Co-op joins forces with Reborn to turn plastic into fabric at festivals this summer
// Co-op is installing two reverse vending machines at five festival pop-up shops for customers to deposit plastic waste
// Reborn will collect all plastic deposited to transform into Co-op staff uniforms
Co-op has partnered with recycling firm Reborn to install reverse vending machines at five festival pop-up shops that will help turn plastic into fabric for Co-op staff uniforms.
The convenience grocery chain has become a fixture on the festival scene since the launch of its first pop-up shop back in 2018 and will return this year at five of this summer’s biggest music festivals, along with the popular in-store reverse vending machines.
Reborn is now supplying Co-op with two reverse vending machines at each of the festival stores for customers to return plastic bottles and cans to be recycled and “earn” money back to spend in the pop-up shop.
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Reborn will then use its fleet of electric vehicles to collect all plastic waste after the festivals and repurpose it to create garments and uniforms for Co-op to use at future festivals.
The collected plastic will be shredded and turned into RPET pellets at Reborn’s new recycling centre in Sarratt, Hertfordshire.
These pellets can be transformed into almost anything ranging from uniforms, merchandise, umbrellas, worktops and furniture for Co-op to use internally and at future events.
Reborn has also created 2000 t-shirts and 450 hoodies for Co-op staff to wear at the 2021 festivals which have been made from completely sustainable materials.
The t-shirts and hoodies have been made from 40% organic cotton and 60% RPET created from 18,000 plastic bottles – six recycled plastic bottles per each t-shirt and hoodie – collected from the ocean.
“We’re so excited to be back with our festival family after what has been such a difficult year,” Co-op marketing experience director Amanda Jennings said.
“We’re finally able to enjoy live music together and we can’t wait to be part of people’s festival experience once again.
“Festival-goers have previously responded well to the reverse vending machines in our pop-up stores and it’s fantastic that we now have a festival-themed closed loop system in place for the bottles and cans we collect.”
Co-op and Live Nation UK recently announced a five year partnership renewal to secure Co-op’s presence as the official supermarket sponsor across Download Festival, Latitude Festival, Reading & Leeds Festivals, Creamfields Festival and Isle of Wight Festival.