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  • Writer's pictureRobyn


I noticed this a couple of days ago...

This isn't the first time the hypocrisy of the situation has occurred to me, but perhaps I'm in more of a ranting mood than other days. Today there are yet more pictures in the news about the catastrophic damage we're doing to the planet and yet so many of the companies best placed to do something about it are in reality doing practically fuck all. Tesco, you're a bloody enormous company, you have the power to do so much good, but you're dragging your feet. Just think, how much good press could you garner yourself if you really took the lead in reducing plastic consumption in your shops?

Your Bags For Life proudly proclaim their recycled content - and you decided shortly after the paltry 5p tax was introduced to stop selling your old plastic bags all together. Yay. Well done. But it seems like you stopped there. Where are the rest of your policies? You still have plastic bags in your vegetable aisles and everything else comes in layers of plastic wrap. I know quite a lot of stuff does need to be packaged in something - but why aren't your goods packaged in recycled packaging? I've heard some chat of the idiotic logic that consumers wont buy drinks if they're not in crystal clear pristine plastics. Are we all idiots or something? Do we not buy milk in semi-opaque HDPE? Oh wait, of course I am completely amazed on a daily basis when the milk comes out is actually white. Would I not then know that my orange juice might be, er orange and my apple juice green?

HDPE, being easier to recycle, according to Friends of the Earth ( often contains up to 30% recycled content. Your bottles make no claims about their recycled content, they just say that they are recyclable, not that you actually do it. It's wonderful passing of the buck onto someone else.

The delightful folk at Ecover have taken to fishing plastic bottles out of the sea to make into bottles for their range - compared to the might of Tesco is that not a bit embarrassing? Wouldn't it be so much better to shout about how you're putting circular practices into place right now rather than making promises about how things'll be better sometime around 2030? I know on your website there are policies and promises, but if the science tells us anything it is that we need to make the changes yesterday - tomorrow might be good enough, but a decade more of vague deadlines for incremental improvements isn't going to be ok. You're a company that supplies us with the materials that we need to live - but what about the planet we live on?

You make a bag for life - now it's time to make a bottle for life. And while you're at it, do you think you could stop putting your apples in plastic bags and charging more for the ones that are loose? The world managed perfectly well for thousands of years without apples being neatly packaged into groups of 6, I'm sure it'll be fine again when this ludicrous practice is phased out.

I have some ideas:

Bottle banks for your own products - it is has a Tesco label on it, you should be able to bring it back. You could even give us clubcard points for bringing packaging to be reused.

Plastic free products.

Refilling stations.

Surely this can't all be outwith the realms of possibility?

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