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BPF hits back at calls for plastic-free aisles in supermarkets

From: Packaging News

The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has rebutted calls for plastic free aisles in supermarkets, warning of an increase in food waste and energy.

The BPF said a decade ago, a major retailer trialled selling cucumbers without plastic packaging but the scheme was abandoned due to the huge amount of food that was wasted.
It said that food waste in stores increases by a third without packaging.

WRAP figures show that £13bn of edible food was thrown away from homes in 2015.
“Cutting out plastic packaging in areas within supermarkets would actually cause harm to the environment because the energy used to produce food is much greater than in the packaging protecting it,” said a BPF spokesperson.

The BPF said plastic packaging uses less energy to produce than alternatives, reduces transport costs and CO2 emissions because it is lightweight, and ‘significantly’ reduces the amount of food wasted by protecting it in a hygienic environment and extending its shelf life.

“Avoiding the protection of plastic packaging would also increase food waste during transit and once it reached the home,” added the spokesperson. “Plastics are a reusable resource that needs to be disposed of responsibly and recycled whenever possible — and focusing efforts on improving public understanding, reducing littering and enhancing the UK’s recycling infrastructure would be a better way of achieving a sustainable future.”

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