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Supermarket packaging costing a packet

July 28, 2008 5:24 PM

A local Euro-MP has called on supermarkets to slash unnecessary packaging in a bid to reduce Britain's huge waste mountain.

A new report by the Local Government Association (LGA) shows that up to 38 per cent of packaging in a regular household shopping basket cannot be recycled.

Each year the UK generates around 26 million tonnes of household waste - two thirds of which goes to landfill, more than almost every other EU country.

Speaking today, Liz Lynne MEP, who has often campaigned against excess food packaging, said:

"I am disappointed that new EU laws will not require governments to prepare waste prevention strategies until 2014. Governments need to show more political will to bring the appalling amount of landfill waste down."

Angry that EU rules were sometimes blamed for cucumbers, apples and even swedes being sold in shrink-wrapped plastic sleeves, Liz, added:

"There is no EU requirement for fruit and vegetables to be sold in plastic packaging, and it doesn't happen to the same extent in other European countries.

"It's time the supermarkets stopped making false claims about consumer preferences and asked people directly whether they want so much packaging. Everyone who returns from the weekly shop to find themselves having to throw out a pile of unnecessary wrapping will give them a very strong response."

ENDS

A summary of the LGA report can be found at: www.lga.gov.uk/lga/aio/593234

Recycling rates have increased to 33 per cent in England as local people do their bit to reduce the amount of waste thrown away but the battle against excess packaging continues.

Latest figures show that 4.6 million tons of packaging waste are increasing local grocery bills and choking landfill sites across the country.

Last year the Co-op led the way by unsheathing cucumbers from their plastic wrappers and instead packing them in boxes with breathable liners.