[07 June/Food Navigator]

Attempts by food retailers to encourage customers away from using plastic packaging won’t tackle the enormity of the plastic pollution problem, warns academic Tim Lang, who believes “strong intervention is needed to move the food system to another place’’. UK supermarket Waitrose’s latest announcement about a host of trials to test whether consumers are ready to abandon plastic packaging has been generally well accepted by plastic pollution campaigners. The trials will allow customer to dispense and refill a range of products themselves that usually involve plastic packaging when being sold. This follows one of its competitors Morrison’s successfully trialling loose fruit and vegetables. Mr Lang welcome the fact that a consumer shift changing which is helping retailers to feel attacked, prompting change but reports that so much more than trials must be done in order to solve the plastic pollution crisis.