Vast majority want plastic-free supermarket aisle

More than nine out of 10 people support the introduction of a plastic-free aisle in supermarkets, a survey suggests.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 26th July 2017, 10:26 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:02 pm
91% supported the plastic-free aisle idea
91% supported the plastic-free aisle idea

The overwhelming backing for the introduction of a supermarket aisle featuring only products that are free of plastic packaging was revealed in a poll of 2,000 people for environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet.

Some 91% supported the plastic-free aisle idea, while four out of five (81%) were concerned about the amount of plastic packaging thrown away in the UK, the survey by Populus showed.

Support for the aisle of goods that are free of plastic packaging was highest among people over 65, with 94% backing it, and among those in the north east of England, where 96% of those quizzed were in favour of the idea.

The survey findings are revealed in the wake of scientific research which found more than eight billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since the early 1950s and most of it now lies buried in landfills or litters the oceans and countryside.

Of all the plastic waste in the world, only 9% had been recycled and 12% incinerated, while 79% had accumulated in landfills or the natural environment, the US researchers found.

Concerns have been raised about levels of plastic waste in the marine environment, where it can harm wildlife and enter the food-chain.

A Plastic Planet co-founder Sian Sutherland said: "It's becoming increasingly clear that the Great British public wants a fresh alternative to goods laden with plastic packaging. Too much of our plastic waste ends up in oceans and landfill.

"Consumer demand for products that generate less plastic waste is higher than ever.

"A plastic-free aisle would help supermarkets meet the needs of shoppers who are fed up of buying products covered with layer after layer of throwaway plastic.

"For years we've able to buy gluten-free, dairy-free, and fat-free, so why no plastic-free?"

Professor Hilary Kennedy of Bangor University's School of Ocean Sciences said: "There is a growing body of evidence that plastic waste poses a global challenge, directly affecting marine life and ecosystems.

"A plastic-free aisle in supermarkets would help encourage a reduction in the amount of plastic waste being dumped in our environment."