Supermarkets and other retailers are under increasing pressure to reduce packaging to limit their overall waste
ASDA and Marks & Spencer lead assault on packaging waste crisis - but will it work?
9th November, 2010
As UK supermarkets scramble to reduce packaging in the face of growing legislation and consumer demand, Aimee Steen talks exclusively to those tackling the problem at high street stores and asks what role customers have to play
There’s not much a joint of beef can do to be offensive. Unless you’re vegetarian, in which case steering clear of the meat aisle in the supermarket is probably the best option. Lincolnshire trading standards, however, did have a problem with a Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference joint. It wasn’t too big, it wasn’t too small, it wasn’t claiming it was delicious when it actually didn’t have much on a bog-standard burger. It simply had too much packaging.
It was a landmark case, believed to be the first packaging prosecution brought against a major supermarket, but it was dropped just before it was due to be heard in October 2010. Lincolnshire council decided that the offending product had, in fact, had its packaging sufficiently reduced. Sainsbury’s claimed that the product’s packaging had already been reduced by 53 per cent and would be reduced by a further 10 per cent. All in all, we will never know whether the case would have been successful.
These days, packaging is everywhere. Whether it’s a simple foil wrapper for your crisps, a plastic bottle for your fabric softener or an elaborate construction for your beef joint, it’s difficult to...
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