17 March 2007

Supermarkets and Plastic Bags

Sainsbury's likes to trumpet the fact that their new orange bags have recycled content in them, but ....

Despite pledging to reduce dependence on plastic bags, four of Britain's biggest supermarkets are failing to cut down significantly on the number used in home shopping, a Guardian test has revealed.

The same 24 items, ranging from fresh fruit and sliced bread to tinned fish and soap, were ordered online from Asda, Waitrose/Ocado, Sainsbury's, and Tesco. Sainsbury's was the most profligate with its plastic bags, using nine to deliver its grocery order, and averaging 2.7 items per bag. Next came Asda and Tesco with seven. Waitrose/Ocado used five bags, plus a cardboard wine carrier.
It's pretty easy to bring your own 7 bags to the supermarket, or use canvass bags.

In fact, if the food industry really was green, it would be oriented on a bulk-food model:

- no packaging for cereal, you'd bring your own container, and fill up with Shreddies
- no plastic bottles of packaging for washing liquid, bring your own bottle and fill it up
- bring your own bottle and unplug the spigot for Sainsbury's own brand wine


Gerard said...

I don't know why the western world has worked itself up into a lather over plastic shopping bags. it is a non issue. The bags reported as causing harm to marine life are mostly garbage bags, bait bags etc. if shopping bags are not littered - and they should not be - they are an effective and efficient way to bring home / deliver groceries. And htey have many reuses. Ireland taxed bags on phony data, and then claimed - again on phony data that the tax had reduced bags by 90% - then used the same type of data to justify an increase in the tax. Other places around the world are trying to copy Ireland's lead - tax, ban or reduce the use of shopping bags - without doing the basic research.

Get over it! There are more important issues. Try the 200 million kids starving each year in the devloping world.


scott redding said...

plastic bags are a good way to highlight how we consume, changing how we shop. as well, they are made from plastic, i.e. oil. if we conserve oil, it will last longer in an era of peak oil.

the 200 million kids comment: people who are environmentally concerned tend to be the sector of the population who are both aware of, and very concerned about, children in developing countries and world hunger.

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