Local Greenpeace volunteers in Nottingham returned single-use packaging collected from Tesco in Beeston to the store manager
Greenpeace say that “single-use plastic packaging is a major contributor to the plastic pollution that is having a devastating impact on our rivers and oceans, and UK supermarkets generate more than 800,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste every year”.
This plastic was collected from Tesco customers, who also wrote personal messages to the supermarket telling them to ditch single-use plastic.
One customer called on Tesco to at least have targets to reduce non-recyclable plastic use.
Among the plastic that customers returned, there were plastic trays and shrink-wrap from vegetables and wrappings from fruit.
Rachel, a volunteer with Nottingham Greenpeace, said: “There are five billion pieces of plastic in the sea.
“The equivalent of another lorry load goes in every minute. At current rates, plastic production will have increased four-fold before 2050.
“It’s a no-brainer that we should all be doing something and Tesco should be taking the lead, not waiting for customer protest.”
A recent survey of supermarket plastic use by Greenpeace UK and the Environmental Investigation Agency revealed that despite their huge plastic footprint, half of the supermarkets surveyed have no specific targets to reduce plastic packaging and most of those who do are moving at such a slow pace (just 5% per year) that it would take them 20 years to completely rid their shelves of throwaway plastic.
Rachel added: “That’s why 800,000 people have signed Greenpeace’s petition calling on supermarkets to ditch single-use plastics, including thousands locally.”
The Local News asked Tesco for a comment and they directed us to their website regarding the matter, whey they say: “We take the sustainability of our products and packaging extremely seriously and always consider the environmental impact of our business on the environment.
“We know that packaging plays an important role in protecting products and reducing food waste – but it shouldn’t come at an unaffordable cost to the planet.
“We only use packaging where it serves a clear purpose. We are working towards all remaining packaging becoming part of a closed loop – meaning no packaging will go to waste.
“We recognise that we can do more in partnership with government and industry to help establish a robust, closed loop system for packaging materials.
“We have three strategic priorities to help reduce packaging waste and boost recycling across the UK.”