Black packaging - it’s time to take a stand


- Credit: Archant

RESIDENTS could soon be encouraged by North Somerset Council to drop their non-recyclable black plastic on supermarket tills to embarrass them into changing their packaging.

The authority’s deputy leader, Elfan Ap Rees, said supermarkets’ use of non-recyclable black plastic packaging was ‘no longer acceptable’.

Future planning applications from supermarkets may only be approved by the council if the store agrees to use recyclable packaging.

While the council cracks down on businesses, they could also offer residents incentives to recycle more.

The council is currently the second-best performing unitary authority in the country for recycling, and the best in the South West.

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Cllr Ap Rees said the failure of supermarkets to use recyclable material for their products was a national problem.

He said: “Supermarket packaging could be recycled rather than going to landfill and somebody from some local authority has to stand up.

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“Someone has to take a stand and why shouldn’t it be North Somerset?

“In future planning applications we should look at something which bans black plastic and we should encourage customers to take their black plastic back to the supermarkets for disposal or, alternatively, they could empty it at the till and embarrass the supermarkets.

“There’s no reason why they have to use that packaging just because it makes the food look good. It’s no longer acceptable.”

Cllr Ap Rees also recommended that when takeaway shops are re-licensed the council should impose a condition on them to use cardboard packaging displaying the shop’s name.

He said: “We tried using the carrot and encouraging takeaways not to use these polystyrene boxes for fish and chips and we now need to use the stick.

“There is really no reason for takeaways to use that type of container.”

Council leader Nigel Ashton said he would consider rewarding people with vouchers to use council-run leisure facilities, but he would not like to see fines introduced for non-compliance.

In 2012, 60 per cent of household waste was recycled in North Somerset compared to 20.5 per cent in 2005.

But the total of waste and recycling per head in North Somerset is more than elsewhere in the country.

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