Greenpeace and The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) are currently in the process of conducting a survey of the main UK grocery retailers’ use of single use plastic – and how they’re planning to reduce it.
Amid Iceland’s bottle recycling reverse vending machines, Morrison’s bring-your-own Tupperware scheme and the supermarket ‘plastic pact,’ it’s hoped that this renewed pressure on supermarkets will continue to drive the momentum towards reducing single use plastics.
The results, due in autumn, will be obtained via a survey which has been sent out to the 11 biggest supermarkets. This will ask them to detail their plastic use as it stands, their targets for reduction and how they intend to meet these.
The data that emerges should give clear insight into which shops are the ones who are serious about eliminating plastic waste – and which ones are trailing behind.
Elena Polisano, an oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “Supermarkets selling masses of throwaway plastic packaging should be making great strides to stop their plastic from clogging up our oceans.”
“Major grocery retailers have a huge role to play in cutting the overall amount of throwaway plastic being produced, making sure non-recyclable and problem plastics are off the shelves by 2019, and switching to truly sustainable solutions. We’ve set this supermarket challenge to encourage retailers to go further, faster, to curb ocean plastic pollution.”
Sarah Baulch, a senior ocean campaigner at the EIA, added: “Single use plastics and packaging are a major contributor to the plastic pollution that is having a devastating impact on our oceans.”
“Retailers need to take a lead in reducing the amount that they’re putting into the market. Our survey will highlight those supermarkets who are demonstrating leadership by reducing their plastic footprint and conversely those who are lagging behind.”