Asda are about to test a store that will offer shoppers the option to buy food from refill stations rather than pre-packaged. The supermarket giant has teamed up with huge brands such as Kellogg's and PG Tips to install the refill posts for everything from grains and pasta to coffee and tea in a bid to determine how eager its consumers are to reduce plastic waste.
Moreover, the Leeds store will offer loose vegetables, and fruit and flowers without plastic packaging. The experiment that will last three months, with the results determining whether Asda will roll out the plastic free options in its other stores. Asda shoppers will also be able to recycle their existing plastic waste such as plastic bottles in specially installed recycling bins.
This is a welcome move by one of the UK's biggest supermarket chains, and it should send a strong signal to other supermarket chains to follow suit. The decision has been positively received by environmental groups, most prominently by Greenpeace. Louise Edge, head of Greenpeace UK’s ocean plastics campaign, said:
'UK supermarkets increased their plastic footprint to more than 900,000 tonnes last year, so it’s encouraging to see Asda take steps to ditch throwaway plastic, and introduce the option for customers to refill their own containers.
'And the fact that big brands like Kellogg’s and PG Tips are included in this trial shows Asda’s having the right conversations with branded suppliers on plastic.
'Plastic is made from fossil fuels, so its production contributes to our climate emergency, and it’s a material that pollutes our rivers and oceans. We’ll never recycle our way out of this crisis, so Asda and other UK supermarkets must urgently reduce plastic by switching to reusable and refillable packaging at scale.'
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