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Marlow Town Council takes on might of supermarkets Waitrose and Sainsbury's over plastic
SUPERMARKET giants in Marlow should be challenged over plastic waste, councillors say.
Marlow Town Council wants to crackdown on the amount of plastic bags and bottles and aims to persuade big name stores to reduce their outlay.
The aspiration could form a key part of a bold ten year plan drawn up by councillors, as it aims to make the town as environmentally friendly as it can.
Cllr Kathy Thomson told a public meeting last week the council should try to take on the might of Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.
She believes people pressure could actually persuade the supermarket titans to cut back.
When asked if it was feasible to ask Sainsbury’s to reel-in the amount of bottled drinks it sells, Cllr Thomson said: "We should try.
"Someone said we [town council] have very little power, if we told you what we didn’t have responsibility for you may wonder why we’re standing here.
"Hanging baskets, for example, we have no powers to force shops to put them up but we managed to get 100 baskets put up by shops and businesses. It proves that when you have a will you can do anything."
Mayor Jocelyn Towns said: "This is about plastic waste, we're generating so much plastic waste and it takes so long to biodegrade.
"It's not something we can do on our own, we have to involve the big stores and see if we can minimise the use of plastic bags and bottles.
"It would be nice to think we could lead on the issue, it will take other people and more research but the appetite is there to do that."
Residents were sceptical whether it would be possible.
But there was more enthusiasm for another environmentally friendly idea to introduce drinking water fountains to enable bottle re-fills.
Simon Jones, Branch Manager at Waitrose in Marlow said: "We absolutely share the aims of the people in Marlow and I think it's valuable for the local community to have a shared aim everyone can work towards.
"At Waitrose its important to us that as a business we tread lightly and look after our environment so although we haven't met with the council yet we'd be happy to discuss their ideas."
Waitrose were the first supermarket to introduce a re-usable bag with the launch of Bags for life in 1997. In a statement, Sainsbury's said by 2020 it is committed to ensuring its packaging is reduced by half compared to 2005.
"At our Marlow store there are also recycling facilities for customers to recycle their plastic bottles," it said.
"Sainsbury’s has been leading the industry for a number of years in the reduction of packaging and its recyclability."
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