Group Urges Retailers To Introduce Plastic-Free Aisle In Supermarkets
Grocery retailers could be doing more to improve sustainability, according to A Plastic Planet, a UK-based group who are campaigning to introduce a plastic-free aisle in supermarkets.
The group says that the grocery industry has made 'solid gains' in reducing the environmental impact of providing food and drink products to consumers, but have 'failed to adequately address the pollution crisis'.
Sara Vaughan, head of partnerships at A Plastic Planet, and former vice president of sustainable business and global communications at Unilever, said that introducing a plastic-free aisle would give consumers more choice.
"A plastic-free aisle would make a lot of sense, both for UK business and the planet," she said. "A 2017 study by Unilever, for example, revealed that at least a third of consumers make purchasing decisions based on products’ social and environmental impact."
"By both satisfying consumer demand for a fresh approach and calling time on our collective plastic addiction, a plastic-free aisle should be a no-brainer for us all."
Vaughan notes that although investment in plastic recycling has increased, only 14% of plastic is recycled globally. "The rest, worth up to £90 billion each year, is sent to landfill or ends up in global oceans," she added.
"In the UK we currently produce more than 3.5 million tonnes of plastic each year, almost half of which is packaging from food and drink products. Single-use plastic packaging, mostly used for food products, on average has a useful life of only 11 minutes yet remains on the planet forever."
"With the UK grocery market worth an estimated £163 billion, it’s clear that supermarkets are ideally-placed to drive lasting change in this area."
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.