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The Guardian view on phasing out packaging: back to the plastic-free future | Editorial

An effort by Waitrose to reduce polluting waste is welcome, but kicking our rubbishy habits will require more than a nudgeWhat until recently would have looked like a quaint throwback to an old-fashioned high street is, at a Waitrose branch in Oxford, now at food retail's cutting edge. The supermarket has unveiled a scheme that follows the example of a growing number of independent eco-grocers, but could, given its scale, have a much bigger impact if successful. The pilot store will offer 48 products as refills until August. Plastic will be removed from flowers, along with 160 varieties of fruit and vegetables. Since shoppers will have more than one option, this is an experiment. Increasingly, people say they dislike excessive packaging. But when offered the choice between grabbing a bag from a shelf, or refilling a carton from a larger container - an operation that is virtually certain to take longer - what will they do?The supermarket is presumably hoping that its mainly affluent customers will like the new system. The same goes for observers who are keen to see plastic and other waste reduced. But judging from experience, and encouraging though it is when retailers do their bit (Waitrose came third, behind Iceland and Morrisons, in Greenpeace's most recent plastics league table of supermarkets), Waitrose's nudge is unlikely to shift consumer behaviour all that much. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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