MPs Urge Supermarkets to Scrap Plastic Packaging
Two hundred cross-party MPs are calling on heads of the major supermarkets to eliminate plastic packaging from their products by 2023.
The MPs, who are from seven political parties, have written to Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, Waitrose, Aldi, Lidl, Budgens and Marks & Spencer urging them to scrap plastic packaging.
The major supermarkets in the UK create more than 800,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste – well over half the household plastic waste – each year.
Six of the major supermarkets refused to reveal the amount of plastic packaging they put on to the market, saying the information was commercially sensitive. Analysis by Eunomia environmental consultants used figures provided by Aldi and the Co-op – the only chains to release public figures on their plastic tonnage – and the market share of each supermarket to estimate how much plastic packaging the chains produce each year.
This week, Iceland announced it would stop plastic packaging on its own brand products by 2023. Catherine West, Labour MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, who is behind the letter, said: “Vast amounts of plastic are ‘used’ for merely a few seconds before being discarded.
“We have a moral duty to tackle this disposable culture. As such, I welcome the recent announcement from Iceland supermarkets … and I’m delighted that MPs from all parties are supporting my call for other retailers to follow suit.”
Waitrose announced on Friday it would no longer use black plastic for its meat, fish, fruit and vegetables by the end of this year, and that all Waitrose products would be free of black plastic by the end of 2019. Black plastic cannot be recycled under current UK systems.
Each year it is estimated that more than 300m tonnes of plastic are produced globally.
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