Recently action groups have been asking consumers to leave their plastic packaging waste with retailers. Many retail organisations have stated they won’t handle plastic waste rejected by consumers, even claiming consumers are littering (under law).
Many retailers are taking a more progressive approach. Lidl recently decided to trial additional loose fruit and veg options. A poll of Journal.ie reader concluded that 96% of consumers want less plastic in their trolley, and entire retail experiences have sprung up around the idea.
Today 42 major UK retailers and food manufacturers have stated they will go “zero single use plastic” by 2025. After that date, the only plastic permissible will need to be compostable, reusable or easily recycled.
Other notable features of the new “Plastics Pact” include:
- 100% of plastic packaging should be reusable, recyclable or compostable;
- 70% should be effectively recycled or composted, and
- all plastic packaging should have 30% average recycled content.
The Guardian does note that there is no enforcement mechanism in this new Plastic Pact, however it is likely that organisations that have publicly committed to the pact will be held to account by NGO’s if governmental agencies don’t enforce it. Organisations already active in this area include WRAP – who are behind the Plastics Pact program.
What Irish Retailers Are Aligned?
A full UK list is available here. Whilst this is strictly the UK arms of each firm, it is likely that much of the same supply chain is international – especially for non-fresh produce – the items that are most likely to currently be packaged in plastic bottles or sealed in plastic food grade containers and wrappers.
UK retailers and producers with significant operations in Ireland include Aldi, Tesco, Lidl, M&S, Pizza Hut, Nestle, Danone, CocaCola, Britvic, Proctor and Gamble, Innocent, Pepsico, ABP, Lucozade Ribena.