At a time when we’re all feeling the effects of the credit crunch, local Friends of the Earth Scotland volunteers and shoppers, fed-up with excess packaging, are to target stores across the country this weekend.

Teams of campaigners will return unwanted layers of plastic, cardboard and paper to their local store and ask the manager to send a message back to head office to stop wasting their money by over-packaging goods.

As part of FoE Scotland’s ongoing waste prevention campaign, events will take place at four supermarkets in Edinburgh, Perth, Glasgow, and Dunblane to highlight the amount of unnecessary packaging on many everyday products.

Volunteer waste campaigners will be dressed up as over-packaged fruit, vegetables (in Edinburgh and Glasgow), or as “Shopping – past, present and future” (in Perth and Dunblane). They will ask customers to sign petitions calling for excessive packaging to be axed.

Local campaigners and shoppers will present store managers with the excess packaging from one week’s worth of shopping. By asking managers to accept the waste, they will be sending a clear message from consumers that it is neither needed nor wanted.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Samantha Adderley said:

“A large proportion of packaging is unnecessary and much of it could be avoided if supermarket’s sourced more produce from local suppliers – this is particularly the case when it comes to fruit and vegetables.  This would not only help to reduce Scotland’s waste mountain but also help support our local economy and tackle climate change. Over-packaged goods waste a huge amount of valuable resources and we hope that the retailers will listen and reduce the amount of packaging accordingly.

“In Scotland we throw out enough waste to fill Murrayfield rugby stadium every day. Recycling levels may be rising, but so too is the total amount of waste that is produced – increasing by 1% per cent each year. The real challenge is to avoid waste, such as excess packaging, in the first place.”

ENDS

Media contacts:

Samantha Adderley- 0131 243 2721 (office) 07703 736604 (mobile)
Owen Davis 0131 243 2719 (office) 0131 243 2715 (redirects to mobile)

NOTES

[1] Some waste facts:

*  Every year UK households spend an average £470 on packaging
*  Although recycling is growing, so is waste produced – by 1% a year
*  Scots dump enough waste every day to fill Murrayfield rugby stadium every day
*  A recent survey by FoE Scotland revealed that local veg box schemes offer cheaper and less packaged produce compared with supermarkets. Survey data can be found at:http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/news/organic/

For more packaging facts:
http://www.wasteonline.org.uk/resources/InformationSheets/Packaging.htm

[2] Media contacts for local events taking place on Saturday 14 March are:

Edinburgh – Sainsbury’s 11.00am and Marks and Spencer’s 12.30pm – Samantha Adderley 0131 243 2700 Mobile: 07703 736604
Glasgow – Morrison’s 11.00am – Cindy Courtillier:  07787 197103
Perth – Tesco’s 10.00am – 12.00 Christina Hollinshead: 01764 681657 (home)
Dunblane – 12.00 – 14.00pm Denise Fyfe: 07796 268695