By: James Austen
Greenpeace Vancouver Local Group Volunteer
November 27, 2018
Have you ever looked around a supermarket and wondered just how much of the plastic packaging used is really necessary? Especially knowing that plastic pollution is a huge problem in the world and that 90% of plastics do not get recycled in Canada.
We have, and that's why last Thursday, volunteers from Greenpeace Vancouver went to two supermarkets to launch a plastic attack! Attacking things isn't exactly something Greenpeace is well known for, but don't worry, it's less violent than it sounds. No representatives from Whole Foods or Save On were harmed in the process of this action!
Armed with two trollies, volunteers marched through the aisles, shopping for things they normally buy on a weekly basis, focusing on fresh produce, cookies and canned beverages. Bottled drinks we found were especially bad, with most multi-packs coming wrapped in one or more layers of soft plastic, in addition to the hard plastic used for the bottles themselves.
After purchasing our groceries, we proceeded on to the customer service desk, where we unwrapped everything we had bought and put the packaging used into one trolley. There we explained to the employees and managers about our action and we delivered a letter outlining the issue and offering our assistance in coming up with solutions and alternatives. The food itself we kept for later munching of course :)
It's quite a disturbing sight actually. No, not me stuffing my face with cookies, that's quite a normal sight, but the literal pile of plastic that had accumulated at the bottom of our trolly!
The amount of waste from just a weekly shop - and a small one at that - is quite staggering.
This is an issue that urgently needs to be addressed at the source, and we urge supermarkets to put pressure on their suppliers to avoid this level of waste in the future!
Are you looking to help stop plastic pollution too?
Download Greenpeace 's Million Acts of Blue Toolkit to get more creative action ideas (like the Plastic Attack!) which you can organize from anywhere!
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