Daily Mail

Sand­wich box re­cy­cling la­bels ‘mis­lead­ing’

- By Xan­tha Leatham Consumer Goods · Recycling · Plastic Pollution · Ecology · Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall · Tesco

AS a coun­try, we munch our way through six mil­lion of them ev­ery day.

But buy­ing sand­wiches may be ex­ac­er­bat­ing the plas­tic waste prob­lem be­cause of is­sues re­cy­cling the pack­ag­ing.

Hugh Fearn­ley-Whit­tingstall, says the la­bels on sand­wich boxes that claim they are ‘widely re­cy­cled’ are ‘wholly mis­lead­ing’.

He found many pack­ets had a plas­tic lin­ing, mak­ing them ‘al­most im­pos­si­ble’ to re­cy­cle prop­erly. In an episode of his BBC se­ries, War on Plas­tic, which aired last night, the chef met with Si­mon Ellin, from the Re­cy­cling As­so­ci­a­tion, to dis­cuss the is­sue.

They looked at six pop­u­lar sand­wiches, in­clud­ing a ched­dar plough­man’s from Tesco and free-range egg from M&S.

Mr Ellin said: ‘We’ve got the plas­tic win­dow on the out­side and plas­tic liner on the in­side. So even if you re­move the front layer, the in­side plas­tic layer is so tightly glued... that you’re never go­ing to be able to re­move it. To me, that ren­ders it un­re­cy­clable.’ He said to re­cy­cle the pack­ag­ing, buy­ers would have to sep­a­rate and dis­card the plas­tic. The pair tried this with the pop­u­lar sand­wiches, and claimed it was ‘hope­less’.

Claire Hughes, Sains­bury’s head of qual­ity and in­no­va­tion, was also given one of the su­per­mar­ket’s egg and cress sand­wiches and strug­gled to sep­a­rate the plas­tic from the card­board. The Daily Mail has led the way in bat­tling against un­re­cy­clable waste through our Turn The Tide On Plas­tic cam­paign.

Sains­bury’s said it was work­ing to find a long-term so­lu­tion to im­prove the re­cy­cla­bil­ity of sand­wich pack­ag­ing. An M&S spokesman said: ‘We are in­tro­duc­ing new, in­dus­try-first sand­wich pack­ag­ing that con­tains 40 per cent less plas­tic film and is attached with pee­lable glue.’ Tesco did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

MI­CROPLAS­TICS in soil may re­duce num­bers of bugs and in­sects. Chi­nese sci­en­tists who put plas­tic par­ti­cles in earth found there were 62 per cent fewer ants and 41 per cent fewer cater­pil­lars com­pared to soil with no plas­tic.

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