War on Plastic

OK. Feeling quite fired up.

I watched the BBC’s “War on Plastic” last night which ended with a fantastic “call to arms”. Nothing too confrontational, nothing illegal. Just a statement to the big supermarkets about the excess packaging.

The idea is that if you feel any of the packaging that you pick up in your shop is unnecessary then you grab a marker pen and write some feedback to your supermarket ON THE PACKAGING and then go and hand it in to them. Add the hashtag #OurPlasticFeedback and take a photo of it and put it on social media as well just for added exposure.

I think this is a brilliant idea and an easy one to do and I have spoken to so many people who complain about the excess packaging in supermarkets. So, armed with my clear plastic tomato tray which I had written a message on I popped into Wells Tesco this afternoon certain that I would be joining if not a sea then a dribble of like minded people.

I was quite nervous. I didn’t know how Tesco would be reacting to the large amount of plastic that I felt sure would be pouring in and cluttering up their customer service desk.

At 3:15pm I walked in and said to the woman on the desk that I had some feedback for Tesco which I would like her to pass onto management and that I had written it on this plastic tub. The response was underwhelming to say the least. She looked quite surprised, carefully put it to one side on the desk (after having read the message) and said she would pass it on.

There were no alarm bells, no security guards manhandling me to the floor or even disgruntlement. It was easy. So why hadn’t more people done it?

Last night on “War on Plastic” the woman in charge of packaging for Tesco said that they could go plastic free in fruit and veg tomorrow if they thought it was the right thing to do. We need to tell them it’s the right thing to do. I have sat in so many tea shops, pubs, private houses and , yes maybe I am in a middle class bubble, but this seems to be a hot topic for many of my friends. We need to tell the supermarkets what we think otherwise they are completely within their rights to say there is no demand.

One thing I have discovered in my attempt to go plastic free is that I although I have almost completely managed it I believe very strongly that it is only because I am well-off, work funny hours so can hunt around for places to buy plastic free, aren’t feeding fussing young children, am practically vegan at home and am on a bit of a crusade. Take away one or more of those attributes and it becomes pretty impossible where we live or at least, a trial.

A lot of advice I’ve had about going plastic-free is that there are specialist shops that do it. But what if you work shifts, don’t earn a lot of money and have several young children to feed? It’s a really big ask.

Tell the supermarkets that we want them to help us. Get them to up their game but help them by letting them know how.

Get down there with your message on a bit of plastic!!

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