Home Business News UK top supermarkets flood Britain with 59 billion pieces of plastic packaging every year

UK top supermarkets flood Britain with 59 billion pieces of plastic packaging every year

by LLB Reporter
15th Nov 18 8:13 am

The full extent of UK supermarket giants’ contribution to our plastic waste problem is exposed today by the most comprehensive analysis of the sector to date.

Drawing on detailed figures disclosed by firms for the first time, the survey of Britain’s largest supermarkets and grocery chains reveals ten major retailers are placing over 810,000 tonnes of single-use plastic on the market every year. Seven of them are putting in circulation the equivalent of some 59 billion pieces of plastic packaging – over 2,000 items for every household in the country.

Despite their huge plastic footprint, half of the supermarkets surveyed have no specific targets to reduce plastic packaging and most of those who do are moving at such a slow pace (just 5% per year) that it would take them 20 years to completely rid their shelves of throwaway plastic.

The survey by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Greenpeace UK also ranks retailers based on their commitments to reduce single-use plastic, eliminate non-recyclable plastic packaging, engage with supply chains and transparent reporting. Iceland comes out ahead of the pack thanks to an ambitious plan for phasing out own-brand plastic packaging within five years, while most major retailers, including Tesco and Asda, are lagging further down the scoreboard, with Sainsbury’s at the bottom of the league.

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