Nearly one hundred people took part in the survey, carried out by the ‘Plastic Free Scarborough’ coalition group. All the people surveyed were aware of the damage plastic pollution is having on the environment and 98 per cent agreed that there is too much plastic packaging on food and goods in supermarkets. When asked if they would be prepared to pay a penny or two more for higher quality recyclable packaging, such as paper or cardboard, 89 per cent agreed. The same number of people were also prepared to return packaging to their local supermarket for recycling or for refilling and reusing. Customers made other comments such as ‘Sainsbury’s should only use recyclable packaging on their own brand goods” and “The manufacturers of non-recyclable plastic should be taxed”.
Since the transmission of BBC TV’s ‘Blue Planet 2’ programme earlier this year, a huge proportion of the public have become aware of the damage plastic waste is having on our environment. Scarborough Borough Council’s Green Party councillors, Dilys Cluer and Mark Vesey, have been pushing for the end to single use plastic items in the council’s operations and several local groups and individuals have been collecting up plastic litter from Scarborough’s beaches this summer.
800,000 people signed a Greenpeace petition online calling for an end to excess plastic packaging. The petition was emailed to supermarket chief executives across the UK. Tesco has announced it will ban all non-recyclable plastic by 2019 and all major supermarkets in Britain have pledged to eradicate unnecessary single-use plastics by 2025.