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Environmentalists urge supermarkets and shops to create plastic-free aisle

The situation of plastic wastes from used packages is truly dreadful. Around 300 million tons of plastic are produced globally each year and a large percentage is attributed to packing materials. And only 12% of them undergo secondary processing and recycling. Much of it is washed into the seas eventually.

Mass media tells us about tragic examples of the negative effects of plastic waste on the sea-dwellers: seals, dolphins and other marine animals that suffocated in fishing nets; turtles that died because plastic clogged up their stomachs. And even the giants of the sea — sperm whales — die from plastic that mechanically damages their gastrointestinal tracts or poisons them with their toxins, or starves them, giving a false sense of satiety when their stomachs are full of plastic. It is found not only in fish, but even in birds. Ornithologists find plastic in the stomachs of 12% of the gulls that live on the sea coast.

Environmental activist organization A Plastic Planet will lobby Britain’s major supermarkets within the framework of “A Plastic-Free Aisle” campaign in the coming weeks to urge them to offer food packaged only in biodegradable materials.

The British government, for its part, is considering adding up to 20 pence to plastic bottles, which could be reclaimed when they are recycled. In an effort to cut waste, the 5 pence charge that was added to plastic bags in October 2015 has already led to usage falling by 80 per cent. But campaigners are urging retailers to go further.

The environmentalists note that people have a choice to buy food, but there is no alternative to a package of goods. As part of the campaign, they ask traders to switch to biodegradable packaging materials. After discussion with agitators, many supermarkets and shops, including Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury, stated that they would respond to the environmentalists’ proposals.

The call for action comes amid the launch of film A Plastic Ocean, which is backed by the Plastic Oceans Foundation. The Foundation organizes special film shows to highlight the sheer scale of plastic pollution in the sea.


  • February 27, 2017 5:40 PM MSK