15 leading politicians called for a Plastic Free Aisle in supermarkets in an open letter to the Times on 28th June.
The following letter appeared in the Times on 28th June 2017:
Sir, Plastic debris contaminates our food supply, fills our oceans and litters our countryside. Our addiction to non-biodegradable packaging is having a devastating effect on human health too. A study by Plymouth University found a third of all fish caught off the coast of South West England contain traces of plastic from sources including sanitary products and carrier bags.
We clearly need swift and decisive measures to prompt Britain’s supermarket chains into action. Recycling is often heralded as the answer, yet every piece of plastic ever made – unless it has been burned – still exists. Despite increasing rates of recycling in the UK, the vast majority of the 300 million tonnes of plastic produced globally each year remains unrecyclable.
Consumers who want to reject single-use plastic packaging in favour of alternatives have little choice. Shoppers can buy gluten free, dairy free, fat free; but cannot easily buy plastic free.
The campaign group A Plastic Planet believes that a plastic-free supermarket aisle will, for the first time, give consumers real choice over what they buy. We agree. That is why we are backing calls for a business rate relief scheme for supermarket stores that maintain at least one plastic-free aisle. In a world already saturated with plastic waste, doing nothing is an option that future generations can ill afford.
Seb Dance MEP, Member of the European Parliament for London, Labour; Steve Double MP, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay, Conservative; Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, Peer, Green Party; Richard Lochhead MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Moray, SNP; Caroline Lucas MP, Member of Parliament for Brighton Pavilion, Green Party; Simon Thomas AM, Member of the Welsh Assembly for Mid and West Wales, Plaid Cymru; John Burton, CEO, World Land Trust; Jean Lambert MEP, Member of the European Parliament for London, Green Party; Alex Mayer MEP, Member of the European Parliament for the East of England, Labour; Clare Moody MEP, Member of the European Parliament for the South West of England, Labour; Linda McAvan MEP, Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber, Labour; Julia Minnear, Co-Director, Woman’s Environmental Network; Molly Scott Cato MEP, Member of the European Parliament for the South West of England, Green Party; Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive, Surfers Against Sewage; Keith Taylor MEP, Member of the European Parliament for the South East of England, Green Party