A Sainsbury’s store in Salford was the target of a campaign fronted by Greenpeace Manchester, over their overuse of plastic and levels of waste, on Sunday.

The Regent road supermarket was decorated with posters that read the slogan ‘Sainsbury’s couldn’t care less’ after Greenpeace discovered that the chain, which is the second largest in the UK, was the worst performer for plastic reduction.

Their research also showed that Sainsbury’s had promised to cut just 77 tonnes of plastic packaging since January last year, compared with competing store ASDA who achieved 6,500 tonnes of reductions however, Sainsbury’s claim that they will have reduced plastic by over 2,400 tonnes in the next 12 months.

Image credit: GreenPeace Manchester

The group, who host regular meetings at the Lass O’Gowrie pub on Charles Street, are now calling on Sainsbury’s to get rid of ‘pointless’ packaging and diminish the use of plastics that can’t be recycled by 2020.

The coordinator of the Manchester Greenpeace group, Martin Porter said, “Hundreds of customers across the UK have written messages to Sainsbury’s, and close to a million people have signed Greenpeace’s petition calling on UK supermarkets to ditch throwaway plastic packaging

“We were collecting messages to Sainsbury’s from their customers in Greater Manchester, including Salford, in February, which we handed in to their flagship store in Cheadle.

“Unfortunately, although most of the customers, and many of the staff, we met were sympathetic, Sainsbury’s isn’t listening.That’s why Greenpeace decided to teach Sainsbury’s the basics”.

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The hashtag ‘#couldntcareless’ was used by the official twitter account for Greenpeace Manchester and has now been included in over 500 tweets.

People have taken to social media to voice their views, with some saying they will stop shopping in the national supermarket after it has performed so purely in the league tables. Another twitter user claimed that the overuse of plastic packaging is ‘ridiculous’.

 

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said that they will have actually reduced ‘well over’ 2,400 tonnes of waste in the next 12 months.

“For Sainsbury’s branded products, 67% of the plastic we use is widely recyclable and 100% will be widely recyclable by 2025

“We have ambitious targets to continue to reduce plastic across our product range.”

A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s also claimed that the information published by Greenpeace only refers to one initiative – removing 77 tonnes of plastic from their greetings cards.

The demand for reducing plastic waste and consumption has increased in Salford, in the light of a study last month. University academics found high levels of plastic pollution in the River Irwell.

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The University of Salford also released figures from 2016, showing that they generated 775 tonnes of waste that year, with only 16% being recycled.

Wendy Olsen, Green Party Candidate, said ” The Greens favor all networked campaigns linking together to support each action, to protect the planet.

” I favor ensuring the natural environment stays natural. Sainsburys’ across the country could easily offer paper bags for veg. The fruits could be less wrapped, especially hard fruits. These changes are so necessary.

“Sainsbury’s ignoring its own customers is just backward”.

A survey undertaken by Greenpeace and the Environmental Investigation Agency showed that the use of plastic waste from supermarkets sits at an alarmingly high rate.

Sainsbury’s have faced a backlash as figures show their plastic waste is much higher than other leading UK supermarkets.

To sign the Greenpeace petition to ‘ditch throwaway plastic packaging’ click here.

Image Credit: Greenpeace Manchester

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