Shops must reduce wasteful packaging

March 23, 2007 8:00 PM

Derby North Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesman Lucy Care has called on Bob Laxton MP to back a Bill presented by Liberal Democrat Shadow Local Government Secretary Andrew Stunell MP to require all large shops to accept packing returned by customers.

Packaging typically costs a familiy £470 each year, one sixth of their food budgets, according to the Government's own Waste Resources Action Programme.

Cllr Lucy Care, said, "It is worrying that over half the household waste produced by homes in Derby every year is from packaging. It costs families the equivalent of two months' grocery bills just to pay for throw away wrapping and packaging.

"Local Liberal Democrats back this Bill that will make large stores like Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda accept packaging returned by customers.

"The aim is to get retailers to put pressure on suppliers to cut packaging with the result of less waste.

"This is good for the environment, good for council costs and good for waste disposal."

Commenting after presenting the Retail Packaging Recycling Bill to Parliament, Andrew Stunell MP, said,

"Commercial wrapping and packaging is very difficult to recycle, particularly at the household level, where quantities are quite small and very diverse.

"My Bill puts the responsibility back on the retailer. They will soon find out just how difficult much of it is to recycle because of different materials being bonded together.

"Similar laws in Germany and Switzerland quickly resulted in retailers putting pressure on suppliers and manufacturers to cut down on packaging, saving both money and land-fill."

Notes to Editors:

1. The Government's Waste Resources Action Programme says that families spend £470 on packaging each year, one-sixth of their food budget.

2. Of the 30 million tons of household rubbish we produce every year, about a quarter by weight, and as much as 60 per cent by volume, is packaging waste.