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Supermarket shoppers making greener choices

More consumers take eco-friendly options


A woman pushes a shopping trolley around a supermarket.

More supermarket shoppers check packaging to see if it can be recycled.

A new survey from Sainsbury’s reveals that more than 60 per cent of shoppers regularly examine food labels to see if packaging on the goods they buy is either recyclable or compostable.

Twenty per cent of consumers told pollsters they’d actually reject a product for another brand if it was difficult to dispose of, while more than 75 per cent of shoppers also said they have done more in the last year to dispose of their packaging than they had previously.

But the survey found that the increase in environmental awareness doesn’t stretch right across the board.


The younger generation is less eco-sensitive than their elders and women were also found to be far more likely to recycle than men.

Stuart Lendrum, Packaging Manager for Sainsbury’s, said: ‘We know from our own customers that people are recycling more, and care much more about the role they can play to be greener.

‘Sainsbury’s has made great strides in the last year to make its packaging more environmentally-friendly, but this is not a solution unless were also telling customers what they can do with it after use.’

The supermarket now intends to print easy to understand guidelines on packaging to help confused shoppers who want to go green.

In recent months Britain’s leading supermarkets have stepped up efforts to prove their green credentials.

Plastic bags

Sainsbury’s has already announced it’s ditching its white carrier bags for orange versions which are a third recycled material.

This followed Tesco’s announcement that it would award shoppers loyalty card points for every plastic bag they avoided using at stores.

Sainsbury’s has also confirmed that all its own-brand ready meals, most of its organic produce and some organic meat products would be packed in compostable containers by late 2007.

It says the compostable packaging means a cut of 150 million plastic trays and bags. The new packaging will completely break down in a compost bin.

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