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Borough Market MD sets challenge for packaging sector

From: Packaging News

The managing director of London’s Borough Market has challenged the packaging industry to find alternatives to plastic in the wake of market’s banning of single use bottles.

Drinking fountains introduced as Borough Market announces plan to be plastic-free in six months. Today sees the introduction of free drinking water fountains at renowned food destination, Borough Market in Southwark, London. The move is accompanied by a pledge to phase out all sales of single use plastic bottles at the Market over the next six months. While the debate continues over whether supermarkets should have a plastic-free aisle in every store, the move to do away with plastic bottles reflects Borough Market’s aim to become Britain’s biggest food shopping destination that is entirely plastic-free and is an important step on that journey. © Lucy Young 2017 07799118984 lucyyounguk@gmail.com www.lucyyoungphotos.co.uk  

Speaking to Packaging News, Darren Henaghan said that the decision to phase out the sale of single plastic bottles in the next six months at the market was “practical and ethical”. He added that the market’s traders were on board with the move and said that they were also pushing for alternatives to plastic.

“We are right next to the River Thames and most to the litter found there is single use plastic bottles,” he said. “We feel that we need to lead the way and all our traders are environmentally conscious – it’s part of the ethos of the place. “Our traders are determined to help eliminate waste.”

Henaghan said that Borough Market could not, however, prevent people from bringing in plastic bottles from off the site, for example at outlets in nearby London Bridge. He also said that litter was not a huge problem in the market although he was keen to look at how to improve waste segregation.

The market has now installed three water fountains in prominent places to encourage visitors to fill up water bottles.

“Water fountains in other capitals are everywhere – we do not have that culture,” said Henaghan. “We now have the facilities to allow consumers to do the right thing.”
Henaghan said that since the announcement on plastic bottles, he had received 35 offers from the packaging industry with “great ideas”. He said that the next step was for Borough Market to be plastic free although he added that this would take longer than six months.

“We have to work together – food manufacturers, packaging manufacturers and legislators,” said   Henaghan. “This is a challenge to go further. The packaging industry is light years ahead of where it used to be – there are huge amounts of innovation in the market that are proven. None of this is easy but all of us can help change consumer behaviour.”

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