UK Parliament to debate plastic-free packaging for fruit and vegetables

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The United Kingdom House of Commons will debate a petition on Nov. 12 urging the government to make supermarkets offer plastic-free packaging for fresh fruit and vegetables.

Signed by 123,000 members of the public, the petition states that the move is necessary due to “the problem of an ever-increasing amount of plastic waste polluting our environment.” 

The government has responded to the petition saying it is working with retailers and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to explore the potential for the introduction of plastic-free initiatives in supermarkets where fresh food is sold loose.

In the U.K., at 10,000 signatures, a petition receives a response from the government. At 100,000 signatures it is considered for a debate in Parliament.

Moves against single-use plastics have peaked in the U.K. over the last year, with Prime Minister Theresa May pledging to investigate “plastic-free” aisles in supermarkets earlier in the year.

Unveiling her 25-year environmental strategy in January, May said the government would eradicate “all avoidable plastic waste.”

In addition, a number of key chain restaurants, supermarkets and businesses, as well as the British royal family, have announced planned bans on single-use plastics, plastic straws and similar items over the past 12 months.

A BBC Blue Planet II nature series last November, which linked the death of a baby pilot whale to ocean plastics, sparked the wave of anti-plastic waste sentiments in the U.K.

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