The Daily Telegraph
Supermarkets must have plastic-free food aisles, says May
Scourge of the seas – crisp packet washes up after 21 years
SUPERMARKETS must create a plastic-free aisle in every store to prevent billions of tons of waste packaging ending up in oceans and help stop “one of the great environmental scourges of our time”, Theresa May will say today.
In a speech launching the Government’s 25-year environmental plan, the Prime Minister will say that in future, people will be “shocked” at how much plastic is now produced. She will warn that it is causing “immense suffering” to marine life, with one million birds and more than 100,000 sea mammals and turtles dying after eating or getting tangled up in plastic.
The call for plastic-free aisles forms part of a pledge to eliminate all “avoidable” plastic waste such as coffee cups and drinks bottles within the next quarter of a century. Produce in the plastic-free aisles would either be loose or wrapped in recyclable or biodegradable materials such as glass, aluminium, paper or card.
It represents a significant moment in Mrs May’s attempts to regain the green agenda, which also includes plans to extend the 5p charge on plastic bags to small shops. Speaking in London, she will say: “We look back in horror at some of the damage done to our environment in the past and wonder how anyone could have thought that, for example, dumping toxic chemicals, untreated, into rivers was ever the right thing to do.”
Her challenge to supermarkets comes after a campaign by the environmental pressure group A Plastic Planet, which yesterday welcomed the move.
Sian Sutherland, co-founder of the group, said: “Finally we will have the opportunity to shop plastic-free and not take home the acres of indestructible plastic that has been wrongly used to wrap our food and drink.”