Grocers ‘haven’t made great progress’ in reducing plastic

Supermarkets have been told to “do more” to cut down on plastic after six in 10 customers said they wanted to see more progress.

The poll, by tech company Toluna, showed 65 per cent of shoppers believe there are not enough plastic-free products for sale.

However, 44 per cent said they found it easier to avoid single-use plastic compared to five years ago.

A third claimed plastic-free products are too expensive.

READ MORE: Sainsbury’s to recycle coastal plastic for packaging

Although seven in 10 said the responsibility for reducing plastic waste lay with retailers, a number of people have attempted to make a difference themselves.

Over three-quarters avoid buying plastic “occasionally” or “often”, while 10 per cent do so all the time.

“People feel […] that supermarkets in particular haven’t made great progress in reducing plastic use in the last five years,” Toluna research head Lucia Juliano said. 

“It’s vital that a greater variety of packaging is provided when it comes to plastic free options.

“Doing this increases the number of plastic-free products that consumers can buy and therefore contribute to plastic reduction across the UK.”

Grocers have recently expanded their refillable aisles to reduce packaging over recent years, but the schemes are limited to a select number of stores. 

Even Marks and Spencer, seen as the UK’s frontrunner, has brought its “Fill Your Own” initiative to just 11 branches.

In 2019, British supermarkets produced 896,853 tonnes of plastic packaging.

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