Appeal to Irish shoppers to ditch plastic at supermarkets

The day of action is being taken against supermarket packaging

Appeal to Irish shoppers to ditch plastic at supermarkets

Pictured is Meaghan Carmody dressed 'drowning in plastic' outside the Tesco on Lower Baggot Street in Dublin | Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Thousands of shoppers around the country are being asked to leave their unwanted plastic packaging at their local supermarket on Saturday.

It is a 'Shop and Drop' day of action against supermarket packaging.

Organised by Friends of the Earth, the 'Sick of Plastic' campaign has over 400 volunteers registered to promote the action at stores across Ireland.

Meaghan Carmody is head of mobilisation for the campaign.

"Today's action is a simple way for shoppers to let supermarkets know they we want them to use less plastic packaging.

"The supermarkets know we are coming and most are putting out bins for people for people to put the unwanted packaging in.

"Now we need them to make lasting changes that give customers an easy way to choose less plastic in future".

Pictured are shoppers at SuperValu in Sutton | Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocal Ireland

In response to the day-long campaign, Repak - a not-for-profit company set up by Irish businesses - says it is committed to a sustainable future.

"Our members are increasing recyclable and reusable packaging in their stores and reducing the amount of plastic packaging both through their own initiatives and with the help of our dedicated packaging technologists in Repak who run our ‘Prevent and Save’ programme.

"Some of the actions included removing excess packaging on products throughout the supply chain eg: removing trays completely where the product is robust enough.

"Increasing the use of reusable packaging such as pallets, crates and trays, and separating as much waste as possible so that it can be recycled".

Pictured are (left to right) Sally-Anne Ireland and Mindy O'Brian from Sutton at SuperValu in Sutton | Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocal Ireland

Repak adds: "We are currently achieving a plastic recycling rate of 34%, well ahead of our current EU target of 22.5% which places Ireland as one of the top performers in Europe when it comes to plastic recycling.

"However we all must do more and we must be more ambitious with our recycling in future.

"Repak intends to publish a comprehensive national plastics strategy this summer to identify a path for Ireland to significantly increase its plastic recycling over the coming years."