Greenpeace volunteers in Brighton have provided sustainably sourced recycled paper bags in local supermarkets in place of the single-use fruit and vegetable bags provided by the retailers, showing how easy it would be for major retailers to make small changes to start reducing their plastic footprint.
Customers are often only provided with single-use plastic bags for buying loose fruit and vegetables and these plastic bags are usually used once and disposed of. People who try to avoid the excessive packaging of fruit and vegetables in multiple layers of plastic trays and wrapping by choosing loose produce, often find they have to buy their loose fruit and vegetables in a plastic bag anyway.
Greenpeace volunteers have been visiting retailers all across the country today to give customers another option which won’t exacerbate the ocean plastic problem.
Andrea, a volunteer with Brighton Greenpeace, said: “The plastics problem is huge, with birds and other marine wildlife suffering as a result of our overuse of things like plastic bags.
“We just use them to carry our fruit and vegetables home and then they are chucked in the bin. This would be so easily remedied by just changing the plastic to paper bags which are easier and less energy intensive to recycle. I would definitely gravitate to a local supermarket that provided paper rather than plastic bags!”
Brighton Greenpeace’s actions took place to coincide with Earth Day, an annual global event running since 1970 which informs, inspires and mobilises millions of people around the world to protect our planet. This year’s Earth Day theme is ‘Ending Plastic Pollution’.
Andrea continued “Earth Day is such a good way to celebrate the beauty of our planet. We need to keep working hard to keep it clean, sustainable and a joy to live on. The use of plastics has got out of hand in our city as well as globally.
“Look around you, in parks, on the street and on the beach, you cannot go far without spotting a used coffee cup, a sweet wrapper or an empty plastic water bottle. It’s horrendous and ugly and it is we, the people, who have made it this way.
“We too can make it better again by doing simple stuff like taking a reusable cup with us for our coffee, not buying one use water bottles and asking supermarkets to please stock paper bags. Small steps can lead to big changes!”
Brighton Greenpeace were joined by Greenpeace groups across the UK in sending this message to supermarket chains.
Find out: www.greenpeace.org.uk