BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 03 Mar '19

Leave your plastic at the supermarket till with the first nationwide Mass Unwrap event with Surfers Against Sewage

Between the 03 and 10 of March, marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage has organised a series of Mass Unwrap events in supermarkets across the UK to call for action to tackle wasteful and avoidable single-use plastic.

Kicking an addiction

Mass Unwrap is a fun, high-impact action that will highlight exactly how much plastic waste is produced in UK supermarkets after every shop. During the event, people across the country will leave their excess plastic waste at the till, instead of taking it home.

The events are being coordinated by Surfers Against Sewage volunteer community leaders and will be launched in West Hampstead, Anglesey, Carbis Bay and Totnes on Sunday 03 March before then moving to Bingley, Crouch End, Crowthorne, Abergavenny, Ferndown, Formby, Mortimer, Ilkley, Ladbroke Grove, Penzance and more. Check the Mass Unwrap events map for new events which will be registered during the week.

Accountability for waste plastic

Big brands are accountable for a disproportionately large amount of plastic pollution, placing vast quantities of avoidable and pointless single-use plastic on the market without a system in place to capture and reuse material.

Under current systems, the vast burden of all this plastic is put onto consumers, tax payers and ultimately the environment, while businesses contribute just 10% of the end-of-life disposal costs of their products and packaging.

Surfers Against Sewage is calling for supermarkets to be part of the solution and calls for them to cut out avoidable single-use plastic and redesign packaging, use recycled content and stop using virgin plastic and take responsibility and invest in proven systems technology such as an ‘all-in’ deposit return schemes for drinks containers.

‘Supermarkets are putting 112 thousand pieces of plastic in to our environment every minute and much of this is avoidable single-use plastic. Wherever you live, whether you’re on shore or inland, urban or rural, high-tide or high-rise, you can join the fight against single-use plastics. It’s not about removing all plastic from our lives. It’s about kicking our addiction to avoidable single-use plastic, and changing the system that produces it.’

RACHEL YATES
Plastic Free Communities project officer at SAS

Sending a message

The Mass Unwrap is part of Surfers Against Sewage’s award-winning Plastic Free Communities campaign, which is now active in more than 400 communities across the UK.

Surfers Against Sewage is calling on shoppers to join an organised Mass Unwrap, do their weekly food shop, remove any plastic from produce and hand it back to the supermarket, sending a message that they must stop creating a mountain of plastic waste. During the event all pieces of wasteful plastic will be counted and the evidence shared back with businesses and government.

Rachel Yates, Plastic Free Communities project officer at SAS, said: ‘This is a great opportunity for everyone of all ages to join forces and send a clear and strong message that the way we use packaging needs to change, and faster. Supermarkets form a big part of our communities and the way that we buy food. This non-confrontational and family friendly event offers a unique opportunity for consumers to be able to raise awareness of excess packaging and the need for change.’

Several Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Communities have already held Mass Unwraps to support the work they are doing where they live, to reduce the impact of single-use plastic. In North Devon recently, 382 shoppers unwrapped 3,665 items of unnecessary plastic packaging in two hours – of which only 10% was recyclable.

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