Shoppers at Britain’s largest retailer, Tesco, are now being asked to remove excess packaging before leaving the store. Customers can take off any plastic, cardboard and cellophane packaging they don’t need or want and leave it in special bins before they exit the store.
Tesco hopes this test will identify which products can be redesigned using less wasteful packaging.
The trial program is similar to a system used in Germany, and is part of a wider effort to reduce the glut of wasteful packaging headed for the landfill. Recent research in the U.K. found that 40 percent of grocery packaging cannot be recycled easily.
Some organizations have suggested that grocery chains, retailers and others should be forced to pay a special tax to help cover the cost of waste handling and removal.
It would be interesting to see if Americans, if offered such a program at, say, Wal-Mart, would take the time to remove such wasteful packaging after going through checkout. In my experience, some of these packages require the use of commercial grade tools before they can be pried open.
We’ll have to wait and see if this waste-reduction scheme makes it to U.S. shores.
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