7 in 10 grocers have increased plastic use, new research finds

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Supermarket plastic packaging waste
The cause for the increase was a lack of big brands being stocked in the supermarkets, which saw grocers having to enforce rules with suppliers
// Supermarket plastic use is on the rise, according to a new report
// Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose registered slight reductions in plastic use
// Aldi and Asda were at the bottom of the table for reducing plastic use

UK grocers have increased their use of plastic despite several pledging to reduce plastic waste.

Seven out of 10 grocers in the UK have been found responsible for adding 900,000 tonnes of plastic to landfill, according to an Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Greenpeace report.

The cause for the increase was a lack of big brands being stocked in the supermarkets, which saw grocers having to enforce rules with suppliers.


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The report found that Big 4 grocers Tesco Sainsbury’s and Waitrose registered slight reductions in plastic use.

Aldi and Asda were at the bottom of the table for reducing plastic use and Iceland dropped from top spot in 2018 to seventh place this year.

“It’s shocking to see that despite unprecedented awareness of the pollution crisis, the amount of single-use plastic used by the UK’s biggest supermarkets has actually increased in the past year,” EIA’s Juliet Phillips said.

“Our survey shows that grocery retailers need to tighten up targets to drive real reductions in single-use packaging and items.

“We need to address our throwaway culture at the root through systems change, not materials change – substituting one single-use material for another is not the solution.”

BRC director of food and sustainability Andrew Opie said: “Retailers are taking many steps to remove plastics from their stores, such as removing all polystyrene packaging and plastic cutlery and trialling packaging free and refillable options.

“This helps explain how supermarkets achieved a drop in the amount of plastic across their own brand products.

“However, more needs to be done, which is why retailers have set challenging reduction targets and are committed to ensuring all packaging is 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable.”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. IF food shops HAVE to use plastic packaging, why is it not LAW that it must be able to be made of a material that is completely recyclable.
    Better if no plastic but on the way to this peak surely this makes some sense?

  2. Because our Government is more interested in wasting time arguing over the EU for the rest of time instead of dealing with actual current problems we’re facing.

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