Supermarkets need to halt using plastic packaging, claims former Asda manager


The previous boss of is calling for supermarkets to cease employing plastic packaging declaring billions of lbs of expense in recycling has failed to resolve the world’s plastic proliferation crisis.

Andy Clarke, CEO of a single of Britain’s largest grocery store chains for 6 a long time, said the only alternative was for retailers to reject plastic completely in favour of extra sustainable possibilities like paper, steel, glass and aluminium.

“Go into any grocery store in the state and you will be fulfilled by a wall of technicolour plastic,” Clarke stated. “Be it fruit and veg or meat and dairy, plastic encases pretty much everything we obtain.

former Asda CEO Andy Clarke. ‘All plastic packaging will access landfill or the bottom of the ocean faster or afterwards,’ states Andy Clarke. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg/Getty Photographs

“Regardless of how significantly is invested in Britain’s recycling infrastructure, pretty much all plastic packaging will access landfill or the base of the ocean faster or afterwards. At the time there, it will stay on the earth for hundreds of years.

“It is very important that the British isles packaging sector and supermarkets get the job done alongside one another to transform off the faucet.”

Endeavours to recycle more plastic and “a neverending stream of initiatives” – many of which Clarke oversaw even though at Asda – has unsuccessful to stem the plastic movement and it is very clear a additional radical approach is required, claimed Clarke, who stood down as Asda CEO last year.

“We want a long term for our grandchildren which is as significantly as attainable plastic-free,” he mentioned. “We also know that customers want the same factor and with heightened public consciousness of the dire outcomes of unfettered plastic air pollution, they are totally in help of the industry’s attempts to make a meaningful modify.”

Clarke said supermarkets should really generate plastic-free aisles to cater for their customers’ calls for and to showcase the wealth of choices to plastic together with improvements like . He also backed the marketing campaign as a measure to distribute the use of different packaging.

The world’s plastic binge displays no signals of halting. A Guardian investigation this year established that consumers all around the globe purchase a moment and plastic manufacturing is established to double in the following 20 years and quadruple by 2050.

In the British isles fewer than a 3rd (29%) of the 5m tonnes of plastic used each and every 12 months is recovered and recycled. Throughout the environment far more than 8m tonnes of plastic leaks into the oceans and a latest analyze found that billions of folks globally are ingesting .

Clarke explained he has witnessed how considerably supermarkets have accomplished to attempt to promote recycling, investing billions to consider to boost the amount of recycled plastic they use, but however these measures have failed to cut down the scale of plastic air pollution.

Makes an attempt to use thinner plastic milk bottles that contains a lot more recycled substance at Asda, he explained, led to bottles bursting and producing more foodstuff squander. In the conclusion the supermarket went back again to the authentic bottles.

“Unlike products like aluminium and glass, plastic packaging are not able to be recycled advertisement infinitum. Most products of plastic packaging can only be recycled two times right before they come to be unusable,” he reported.