Saturday, 23rd February Eastbourne Greenpeace presented Sainsbury’s Hampden Park Superstore with a shopping trolley full of their own-brand, single-use, plastic packaging that had been rejected by customers over the last few weeks. This was all packaging that cannot all. be recycled, and may end up as landfill, or worse....
The trolley was adorned with hand-written messages from customers, collected by Eastbourne Greenpeace throughout January and February, and accompanied by a letter to the store manager, Peter Thomas, representing customer support in asking the company to change its packaging strategy in line with customer demands. Our ‘gift’ was accepted, graciously, by the on-duty operations manager, who asserted that Sainsbury's Head Office is listening to customer views.
Public awareness of global plastic pollution is extremely high and there is a huge desire to change the way we consume. We, the public, can make decisions about what, where and how we buy, but we need global business to bring a change of attitude and innovation to production. An astonishing 40% of global plastic production is simply packaging, so this is an issue that retailers are powerful position to tackle. We want and need them to address this urgently.
It was a beautiful day, the plastics twinkling in the hot sunlight, the messages fluttering in the light breeze. But the worrying warmth of February reinforced the poignancy of the contents of our trolley.