UK's Largest Grocer Takes on Food and Plastic Waste
It's been a green week for Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket.
First, the chain said it would remove "Best before" labels from around 70 pre-packaged fruits and vegetables in an attempt to stop customers from discarding still-edible food, BBC News reported Tuesday.
Both moves honor pledges Tesco has made to limit its environmental impact. Last year, the store said it would end food waste by March 2018, according to The Independent. The plastics decision comes as part of the UK Plastics Pact that Tesco signed a month ago, in which 40 UK businesses committed to eliminate single-use plastic packaging by 2025, among other goals.
The labeling decision was based on a survey by the National Federation of Women's Institutes (NFWI) that found that less than half of customers surveyed understood what "Best before" labels meant. "Best before" labels indicate that food is still safe after the listed date, but quality might suffer, whereas "Use by" labels indicate that food is actually not safe to eat after the date printed. Seventy percent of customers did understand the "use by" label, according to the NFWI.
"We know some customers may be confused by the difference between 'Best Before' and 'Use By' dates on food and this can lead to perfectly edible items being thrown away before they need to be discarded," Tesco's head of food waste Mark Little said.
He added that produce was being targeted for the change because it was one of the most wasted products.
"Many customers have told us that they assess their fruit and vegetables by the look of the product rather than the 'Best Before' date code on the packaging," he explained further.
When it comes to reducing plastic waste, the company has committed to phasing out hard to recycle packaging items like water-soluble plastics, PVC contained in plastic wrap and polystyrene.
Environmental groups welcomed Tesco's plastics decision.
"As the UK's largest grocer, Tesco could be a game-changer on plastic packaging," Greenpeace UK oceans campaigner Elena Polisano told The Independent.
"By pledging to quickly eliminate some of the plastics that are difficult to recycle, it has raised the bar for action on problem plastics," she said.
However, green groups also said the supermarket could go further by reducing the total volume of plastics it produces, as competitors Lidi and Iceland have pledged to do.
Jason Tarry, the brand's chief produce officer, said at an industry event that the chain was "committed to reducing the total amount of packaging used across our business," The Independent reported.
He further said Tesco wanted to work with the UK government to develop a "closed loop" recycling strategy.
But Friends of the Earth plastics campaigner Julian Kirby said that recycling, while important, wasn't enough to combat plastic pollution.
"What's missing is the long-term vision—we need system change, and we need all stakeholders to step out of the comfort zone of thinking we can just recycle our way out of this," Kirby told The Independent.
UK Bans Microbeads to Protect Oceans as Lawmakers Eye More Anti-Plastic Laws https://t.co/hsKczJnJiO #Microbeads… https://t.co/PwllQc571U— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1515515384.0
- Trump Insider Embeds Climate Denial Into Agency Reports ... ›
- Climate Denier Is Named to Leadership Role at NOAA - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.
Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Fortunately, there are proven natural supplements that can reduce insomnia and improve quality sleep for the better. CBD oil, in particular, has been scientifically proven to promote relaxing and fulfilling sleep. Best of all, CBD is non-addictive, widely available, and affordable for just about everyone to enjoy. For these very reasons, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the best CBD oil for sleep. Our goal is to provide objective, transparent information about CBD products so you are an informed buyer.
The House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill to boost clean energy while phasing out the use of coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators that are known pollutants and contribute to the climate crisis, as the AP reported.
- Renewable Energy Could Power the World by 2050 - EcoWatch ›
- Net Zero U.S. by 2050? House Dems Unveil Sweeping Climate ... ›
- Delayed Senate Energy Bill Promotes LNG Exports, 'Clean Coal ... ›
By Governor Jay Inslee
Climate Week this year coincides with clear skies in Washington state for the first time in almost two weeks.
In just a few days in early September, Washington state saw enough acres burned – more than 600,000 – to reach our second-worst fire season on record. Our worst fire season came only five years ago. Wildfires aren't new to the west, but their scope and danger today is unlike anything firefighters have seen. People up and down the West Coast – young and old, in rural areas and in cities – were choking on smoke for days on end, trapped in their homes.
Fires like these are becoming the norm, not the exception.