HOW ARE UK SUPERMARKETS TACKLING PLASTIC POLLUTION AND FOOD WASTE?
With increased awareness of the impact plastic pollution is having on our planet, many of us are doing our best to change our habits.
But, when it comes to doing our weekly shop in a supermarket, avoiding plastic packaging can feel near impossible.
Experts believe that UK supermarkets are producing 810,000 tonnes of single-use plastic every year.
This is in addition to over 1.1 billion single-use bags, 958 million “bags for life” and 1.2 billion plastic bags for fruit and vegetables, which supermarkets produce annually, the Environmental Investigation Agency and Greenpeace UK states.
But, plastic food packaging does serve a purpose, helping protect food from damage and helping it last longer, which are both important for reducing food waste.
It is, however, important for consumers to know just how much of the UK’s supermarket packaging is recyclable and how to dispose of it correctly.
Tesco recently announced that it is launching a trial to remove a selection of plastic-wrapped fruit and vegetables in a bid to cut down on packaging waste.
On Monday 25 March, the UK supermarket is running a month-long pilot programme at two of its Extra stores, in Watford and Swindon.
The trial will see the company remove plastic packaging from 45 food products where loose alternatives are available.
The supermarket has also vowed to ensure that all paper and board used will be 100 per cent sustainable by 2025, and aims to halve packaging weight by 2025 compared to 2007.