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Supermarkets not doing enough to ‘banish’ non-recyclable plastic

4:52 am, 19th July 2018

Its investigation of 27 own-brand items at 10 major supermarkets found almost a third of plastic packaging is either
non-recyclable through kerbside or retailer collection schemes or difficult to recycle.

The worst offender was Lidl with the lowest proportion of widely recyclable packaging at 71%, followed by Iceland (73%), Ocado (74%) and Sainsbury’s (75%).

The best performer was Morrisons with easily recyclable packaging for 81% of its tested products.

Which? said poor labelling was partly to blame for some packaging ending up in landfill when it actually could be recycled.

It said it should be made clearer what could be recycled through domestic kerbside collection, what needed to be returned to supermarket collection points.

Which? director of research and publishing, Nikki Stopford, said: “Which? believes a lot more can be done to increase the amount of recyclable packaging and the way it is labelled so that consumers know what can be recycled and how
to recycle it.

“The plastic pollution crisis makes it more crucial than ever that the Government, manufacturers and supermarkets do the best they can to banish plastic that cannot be recycled and promote the use of less damaging packaging.”

Which? found that some non-recyclable packaging was common to all supermarkets, such as the netting used on citrus fruits.

In response Lidl said: “We fully support the need to tackle the important issue of plastic waste which is why we recently launched our ambitious plastic reduction targets and have a task force in place who are dedicated to delivering these commitments.

“We are in the process of conducting a comprehensive review of our entire packaging footprint, and estimate that the vast majority of our packaging is widely recyclable under the industry standard OPRL (On Pack Recycling Labelling) scheme.

“We therefore do not believe that the small sample used in the report is representative or reflective of our full product range.”

:: Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign encourages people to reduce their single-use plastics. You can find out more about the campaign and how to get involved at www.skyoceanrescue.com