HARPER URGES SUPERMARKETS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR PACKAGING WASTE

PHOTOCALL: Sunday 28th October 2007 1.00pm, Tesco, 7 Broughton Road, Canonmills, Edinburgh EH7 4EW

Robin Harper MSP said ’30-40% of all household waste which ends up in landfills comes from the top five supermarket chains. Supermarkets are taking no responsibility for the waste they produce. As citizens we pay for it three times over; as consumers buying unnecessary packaging, as Council tax payers paying for recycling collection, and where there are no recycling facilities we pay for it to be wasted. Consumers are trapped in a lose, lose, lose scenario which must be changed.’

Robin said ‘Supermarkets must take responsibility for the waste they produce, through re-design they can reduce the need for bulky packaging and must use recycled materials rather than virgin resources. As consumers we need to recognise the potential waste in what we buy and shop for local, seasonal and unpackaged food where possible.’

ENDS

Further Information:

The Scottish Green Party is committed to a ‘zero waste’ strategy for Scotland, aimed at eliminating waste, landfill sites and incinerators from Scotland and delivering environmental justice to communities across the country . We must work together to make Scotland a waste-free country. By using resources efficiently, consumers, communities and businesses can benefit, and Scotland will become more self-sufficient. For more information on Zero Waste: http://www.scottishgreens.org.uk/site/id/4226/title/Zero_Waste.html

Events are being organised across Scotland this weekend to encourage shoppers fed-up with excess packaging to return unwanted plastics, cardboard and paper to their local store. Volunteer waste campaigners will also be petitioning shoppers and showing them how to reduce their waste as part of this national campaign. Local ‘waste prevention champions’ and shoppers will present store managers with the excess packaging from one week’s worth of shopping. By asking managers to accept the waste, they’ll be sending a message from consumers that it is neither needed nor wanted.

A report published this week by the National Consumer Council found that ‘much of the 30 million tonnes of household waste going to landfill each year originates from what we buy in supermarkets.’

www.ncc.org.uk/nccpdf/poldocs/NCC132rr_greening_supermarkets.pdf