Swimming in plastic

By Blackdog - 6 years ago


Resident retail expert Dave Shrimpton tells it straight about the world of retail, online and instore. A plague on bad shopper marketing, Dave leaves no shelf unturned when it comes to highlighting retailers that make shopping easier for customers.

There’s a bit of a movement right now, a “tipping point” you might say when it comes to how retailers are packing their items.

Back in the days when we had standalone bakers, fishmongers and greengrocers, products were bought, handled and taken home sans packaging. As the world has changed and mass-production has meant that almost anything – a sofa, a car, a piece of clothing – has become easily and often cheaply replaced we’ve created a disposable Britain. And customers aren’t happy about it.

Alongside cheaper items has come more packaging. Plastic packaging to be exact. Throw in a David Attenborough documentary that shows the effect of such plastic on marine life and suddenly plastic is everyone’s problem.

But there are signs out there that things may just be starting to change as we all realise we can’t continue to consume and dispose as we have over recent years. A few years back who would have thought we would all be taking reusable bags to stores for our shopping and that milk bottle home deliveries would be enjoying a new revival…

It’s clear that packaging, the resources it consumes and the waste it creates, is now becoming big news and it feels that customers are beginning to demand a solution from retailers.

Just last week I saw loose nuts being sold in Lidl which felt right in an era of less packaging and could be adopted on more products, by more stores.

If we look at our scandinavian counterparts, Swedes recycle nearly 100 percent of their household waste. Norway similarly have a plastic bottle solution that could well be coming to the UK very soon with Co-op, Iceland and Tesco all considering signing up to a deposit-based system for recycling bottles.

Outside of the reusable plastic bag charge bought in and the odd item that’s now bought loose, there aren’t many signs of this no-packaging phenomenon taking hold in stores. But I believe this will change and I’ll be keeping an ear to the ground for when it does.