Mass unwrap at supermarket highlights excessive use of plastic - The Leamington Observer

Mass unwrap at supermarket highlights excessive use of plastic

Leamington Editorial 18th Jul, 2019   0

A MASS unwrap was held in a Leamington supermarket to highlight the excessive use of plastic packaging.

The event at Morrisons was organised by campaign group Plastic Free Leamington and Warwick in co-operation with the Old Warwick Road supermarket.

Volunteers filled two trolleys full of plastic packaging from goods bought by customers to highlight how much plastic waste was created in two hours, and to call on retailers and manufacturers to stop using it.

Organiser Sarah Kenny-Levick told the Observer the majority of customers were willing to allow their shopping to be unwrapped where possible including items like toilet paper, multipacks of cans and fruit and vegetables.

And some shoppers had brought their own containers to use for products which required packaging such as meat and cheese.

She said: “In that short space of time we ended up with two trolleys rammed full of mostly unnecessary packaging.

“The message we are trying to achieve is not for a few people to do everything perfectly but for the masses to do lots of little things like taking their own bags and containers and avoid stuff wrapped in plastic if they can.”

After the event campaigners helped supermarket staff to dispose of the rubbish, with around 70 per cent of it going to landfill.

Pictures from the campaign event will be sent to big name brands including Coca Cola and Heinz whose multipacks of cans are often wrapped in stretchy plastic.

The campaigners plan to approach more supermarkets to run similar events in the autumn.

Green Party county councillor Jonathan Chilvers has praised the nationwide campaign.

He said “The mass unwrap is a great idea and shows that customers want change. Why should we and then the council be left to sort out supermarkets wasteful packaging?

“I encourage everyone to leave the packaging you don’t need at the till. Let the supermarket deal with it. When they have to pay to dispose of tonnes of extra plastic they will take action.”

He is also calling on council leaders to challenge manufacturing companies over the use of single plastic wrapping.

He added: “Supermarkets’ superfluous wrapping costs our councils hundreds of thousands of pounds to dispose of. I call on our council leaders to now publicly support residents to unwrap at our supermarket tills.”

Morrisons recently became the first supermarket chain to roll out plastic-free fruit and veg areas across its stores.

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