Central England Co-op has partnered with Suma Wholefoods to trial a zero waste refill station within its new £3 million flagship concept store in Lichfield, Staffordshire.

Customers can fill their own containers with a range of products including oats, porridge, rice and dried fruit as part of the retailer’s long-term efforts to cut down on plastic packaging and waste.

“As a responsible business, we are committed to minimizing our impact on the environment and doing so in new and innovative ways,” says Hannah Gallimore, corporate responsibility manager at Central England Co-op. “We are delighted to have launched our first ever zero waste refill station as we know that it will be something that will appeal to our customers and members. Feedback has been great so far and we cannot wait to hear more of what people think in the coming weeks and months.”

Suma’s national account manager, Johnny Spencer, adds: “At Suma we’ve seen a growing number of dedicated zero stores open over the last few years, and now we’re starting to see really forward-thinking retailers like Central England Co-operative incorporate refill stations into convenience stores.

“Central England Co-op have set the bar high with their large, well-designed and well-stocked station. We’ve worked closely together to get the offer right, and I think we’re all pleased with such a fantastic outcome.”

If successful, the concept could be rolled out across more of the retailer’s 262 stores nationwide.