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Plea on packaging made to Environment Minister

A plea for packaging producers to play their full part, particularly in terms of cost of collection was made to Environment Minister Jane Kennedy last week.

The comment came from a local authority delegate attending the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) conference. He claimed that the bigger share of the burden of the packaging regulations fell on local authorities and was pleased the Government was reviewing its Packaging Strategy.

Kennedy said the Secretary of State held regular meetings with retailers and supermarkets and they were doing some very good work to reduce packaging and its impact.

Supporting this, Asda head of corporate policy for sustainability and ethics Paul Hedley revealed to conference delegates that a new range of ready meals with reduced packaging was about to hit stores followed by a new light-weighted glass range in January.

Showing that customers could demonstrate confusing behaviour, Hedley revealed that an Asda trial carried out last year found that removing all packaging from fruit and vegetables resulted in reduced sales and increased wastage. When the supermarket launched the trial, it had hoped for the opposite. In a statement released at the launch of the trial, Asda anti packaging expert Emma Sinclair-Morris said: We believe this return to traditional values could have a huge impact upon the amount of packaging thrown away every day.

Hedley suggested the result could be because time-starved customers wanted to get in and out of stores as quickly as possible, so preferring to pick out goods that were already packaged.

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