Dump the Packaging

14 Nov 2006

Ben Bradshaw, the UK Local Environment minister, encouraged the public yesterday to dispose of excess food packaging directly at the checkout. The move is part of an effort to force supermarkets to cut down on the surplus and unnecessary waste which goes straight from the shop shelf to the household bin.

“It’s up to people to decide,” said Mr. Bradshaw. “But if anyone finds something that’s overpackaged I would urge them to complain and if they feel really strongly about it to leave it for the supermarket to deal with… At a time when we are trying to get across the message that the reduction of waste is important in the battle against climate change, it’s even more inexplicable … that goods are overpackaged.”

In last year’s Courtauld Agreement 13 retailers pledged to stop the rise in packaging by 2008 and to start reducing it by 2010. Mr. Bradshaw’s comments came after a meeting with these retailers where it emerged that packaging had increased by 12% between 1999 and 2005 and makes up one third of household waste in the UK. Although all major supermarket chains seem to be making an effort towards reaching the goals set, the minister stated that he would consider legislation unless companies complied the agreement’s measures.

Source: The Independent

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