Lyn Bull administrator for the Facebook group Zero Waste Hero’s recently posed the question

“Any suggestions for quick, easy, no cost or low-cost zero waste actions our supermarkets could take? Quick wins.”

A lively debate followed. She has collated the answers for your  edification.

Waste, litter, recycling and landfill issues are increasingly in the news. A growing number of people are seeking out independent shops in a bid to cut down their consumption of unwanted, unnecessary packaging and single use products. Our major supermarkets too can play their part in this move to take responsibility for the waste we all produce.

In March 2016 I asked our Zero Waste Week Heroes Facebook group for suggestions for ‘quick, easy, no cost or low cost zero waste actions our supermarkets could take’. Below are some of their suggestions – not an exhaustive list but more a starting point for a supermarket that is considering its place in the contemporary market place.

On entry and across the store

Display your commitment to reducing plastic and single use containers

Actually show/tell people how to reduce plastic waste through signs or labels

Stock plastic free packaged alternatives where possible

Availability of loose fresh fruit and veg 

  • Signs encouraging people to bring their own cotton bags for loose fruit and veg
  • Since lots of people seem to have supermarket branded shopping bags there could easily be a market for the supermarkets to sell reusable cotton veg and fruit bags
  • Spring onions in non-recyclable plastic film? They used to have a rubber band and a label only
  • As above for swede and cucumber!
  • Provide compostable paper bags instead of plastic or at least as an alternative. Mark bags ‘I am compostable’
  • Some weigh machines instruct you to put loose fruit and veg in a plastic bag – should be easy to change that to just ‘bag’ and provide paper bags as an alternative.
  • Provide loose fruit as an alternative to those in nets at the same price – I don’t need a net to help me count 3 lemons etc

At the Deli/Bakery/Meat/Fish counter

  • Encourage people to use deli counter, cheese counter, etc.
  • What about encouraging their delis, meat and fish counters to put the produce into customers own containers rather than bags? Ohhh…and not using a piece of plastic to weigh these items 
  • My local deli uses greaseproof paper bags for cheese which I can compost. I’d be very pleased if a supermarket deli counter could cut the cheese and not just hand over a bit already Clingfilm wrapped
  • Compostable waxed paper cartons could replace those wretched plastic clam shells

Tinned/canned/dry goods

  • Don’t wrap plastic around 4 tins of beans or toms etc. I can count and so can the person on the checkout
  • Sell items like pasta in paper bags instead of single use plastic

A bit more…

You an find lots more supermarket related posts here.

the P-f U.K. Directory

This post was written by the contributor. It has been posted in the  PfU.K. Directory.

And the P-f U.K. Directory is…?

…a directory of UK-based groups, organisations businesses and individuals who are responding to the problems presented by the misuse of plastic. That does not mean anti-plastic necessarily but certainly plastic-problem aware.

The DIRECTORY is to promote their fantastic work. Read more here…

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