Supermarkets are being urged to reduce the amount of plastic used in food packaging, in a bid to fight the tonnes of waste packaging clogging up the world’s oceans.
Sian Sutherland, co-founder of campaign group A Plastic Planet, told Sky News: Our campaign is super simple. We want supermarkets to create a plastic-free aisle.
You can now buy wheat-free, gluten-free, fat-free but you can’t buy plastic-free.
She asked: When did it become okay to wrap something as perishable as food in something as indestructible as plastic?
The group is encouraging supermarkets to look at alternative options such as new technologies like bio-plastics and more familiar options such as wax-free paper and card.
Ms Sutherland said: The average length of time single-use plastic is useful is 11 minutes, and then it exists on our planet forever. It’s completely bonkers.
While plastic is a relatively cheap material to produce, campaigners believe the true cost of plastic – once recycling, landfill and council collection costs are factored in – is actually much higher than introducing alternative packaging at the outset.
A group of MPs from across the political spectrum has also recently backed calls for a business rate relief scheme for supermarkets that introduce at least one plastic-free aisle.
Every day eight million tonnes of plastic is dumped into oceans and it is estimated by 2050 there will be more plastic by weight in the sea than fish.
Some scientists believe plastics are having an impact on people’s health as they become exposed to chemicals such as phthalate and BPA – an industrial chemical used to make plastics – which may cause cancer, metabolic and cognitive behaviour disorders.
Sky News launched its Sky Ocean Rescue campaign earlier this year aimed at reducing the amount of plastic waste that ends up in the world’s seas.
:: You can find out more about the Sky Ocean Rescue campaign and how to get involved at www.skyoceanrescue.com