Caroline Flint has called on supermarkets to follow the example of Iceland and ban plastic packaging within five years.
The MP joined 200 parliamentarians to urge the big supermarket chains to move quickly to ban plastic packaging.
MPs from 7 different political parties have written to the Chief Executives of the UK major supermarket chains urging them to eliminate plastic packaging from their products by 2023, following the announcement from Iceland Foods that they will stop plastic packaging on their branded products by then.
This cross-party letter was organised by Labour MP Catherine West and co-signed by Shadow Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs Sue Hayman.
Each year it is estimated that over 300 million tonnes of plastic are produced globally. Of this, experts suggest that over 12 million tonnes of it end up in our seas and oceans, which can entangle and become ingested by marine life. The impact of plastics was recently brought, with sharp and chilling focus, to millions of people across the world by Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II.
Speaking about the campaign, Caroline Flint said:
"Durable plastics have many important uses, but food packaging is hugely wasteful. I welcome Iceland's stand. Our planet has become a dumping ground for plastic; much of which finishes up in the oceans. Iceland have shown that supermarkets can find alternatives without increasing food waste. I hope the other supermarkets will quickly follow suit. The Government is doing too little, too slowly. The UK needs to move more quickly."
Commenting on her campaign, Catherine said:
“Each year we produce 300 million tonnes of plastic- equivalent to the weight of the world’s entire population. Vast amounts of such plastics are ‘used’ for merely a few seconds before being discarded. We have a moral duty to tackle this disposable culture. As such, I welcome the recent announcement from Iceland supermarkets to eliminate plastic packaging from their own products by 2023, and I’m delighted that nearly 200 MPs from all parties are supporting my call for other retailers to follow suit”
Sue Hayman, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs backed the campaign: “Labour is calling on all supermarkets to follow the lead shown by Iceland this week. We know that the Government can act on Britain’s plastics crisis a lot sooner than before 2042.”
A cross-party letter has been sent to Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Aldi, Lidl and Budgens.