Campaigners announce 'Sick Of Plastic' day aimed at supermarkets

People are being asked to leave plastic packaging at the checkout

Campaigners announce 'Sick Of Plastic' day aimed at supermarkets

Pictured is Meaghan Carmody, dressed 'drowning in plastic' outside a Tesco supermarket in Dublin as part of a 'Sick of Plastic' campaign | Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

An environmental group wants shoppers to leave plastic behind them as part of a new campaign.

Friends of the Earth say the 'Sick Of Plastic' campaign is to highlight excess plastic packaging.

On Saturday April 21st, campaigners are asking people to shop as normal in their local supermarket, and then take off the excess plastic packaging at the checkout and leave it with the cashier.

The group says volunteers will also hand out postcards and talk to shoppers outside supermarkets.

People can then hand in the postcards outlining six ways supermarkets can reduce unwanted plastic packaging.

The group claims shows such as 'Blue Planet II', 'EcoEye' and 'The Story of Stuff' "highlight and underscore the adverse impact plastic has on our natural environment, wildlife, and climate".

Director of Friends of the Earth, Oisin Coghlan, says: "People are just sick of plastic.

"And sick of having more and more of it dumped on us by retailers who make us responsible for trying to recycle it.

"Far too much of our fruit and vegetables are packed and wrapped in plastic, for example.

"There are lots of things shops can do to reduce plastic packaging and we're hoping people will use this Day of Action on April 21st to show supermarkets that we want them to act."

The campaign has written to the big supermarket chains with their six proposals to reduce plastic:

  • Offer more items without packaging, such as fruit and vegetables and fresh bread - without plastic trays, wrapping and nets
  • Ensure their own brand packaging is easily compostable or recyclable and uses less plastic
  • Demand that brands you carry have easily compostable or recyclable packaging, and use less plastic
  • Implement a plastic free aisle, as has been done in the Netherlands
  • Set up systems whereby consumers can buy items in bulk to reduce packaging
  • Set up a system whereby customers can use their own containers to buy dried goods, buying only what they need

The campaign is also supporting the Waste Reduction Bill, which is being considered by the Oireachtas Committee on the Environment.