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Supermarket sweep with a strong message on plastic in Ludlow protest

By Dominic Robertson | Ludlow | Environment | Published:

A group of protesters trying to raise awareness about the unnecessary use of plastic have taken their campaign to the supermarkets.

About 30 people joined in the ‘great unwrap’ protest in Ludlow, where they purchased items before removing the plastic packaging and leaving it in a shopping trolley.

Around 30 people joined in the 'great unwrap' protest in Ludlow, where they purchased shopping from the town's Tesco store, before unwrapping the plastic packing and leaving it in a shopping trolley.

The protest, which took place on Friday afternoon, was the latest action taken as part of the 'Help Ludlow Go Plastic Free' campaign, which has included a variety of different activities over the past year.

Organised by Lady Plymouth, the event was intended to demonstrate the amount of unnecessary plastic packaging on products sold by all large supermarkets – not just Tesco, as the campaigners were eager to point out.

The campaigners gather for their protest

Lady Plymouth, who started her campaign on the issue in January last year, said they wanted to highlight the extent of wasteful plastic use in supermarkets.

She said: "The supermarkets are even worse that when I started this in January last year. It is crazy, you see cucumbers in there wrapped in plastic."

The group held a party last year to discuss plastic use with local traders in Ludlow, with Lady Plymouth describing the response from independent firms as 'amazing'.

But she explained that frustration remained over packaging in supermarkets.

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She said: "They are not listening to us. It is so overwhelming, you cannot buy anything that is not in plastic these days.

Surprised looks

"You go into a supermarket and you cannot buy your lunch when it is not wrapped in rigid plastic.

"I feel if we all club together and do our little bit it really will make a difference."

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Lady Plymouth said she had been pleased with the turn-out for the event, which attracted some surprised looks from fellow shoppers.

She said: "I was so excited by it, I really was, because you feel like you're doing something instead of feeling like you cannot contribute to this ghastly plastic crisis. I want other people to get it."

Campaigners removing the plastic

She added: "The message is for everyone, it is not a dig at Tesco, it is just how we can try to make a difference."

Diana Beamish, who took part in the protest and also helped organise the event, said there had been some unusual looks from the customers, but they had been able to get their message across without disruption.

She said: "It was all very calm and quiet, we were not trying to make a fuss, we just wanted to make the point. I think people were quite receptive. There were people smiling and quite a lot of laughter, it was all very friendly.

"We all just care for the environment, it is not only the sea being polluted, the extent of landfill is just getting ridiculous."

A Tesco spokesperson said: “Tackling plastic is a priority for us. In the last year we’ve removed 4,000 tonnes of the hardest to recycle packaging and this year we’ll remove a further one billion pieces of plastic from our stores.

"Where we cannot remove packaging, for example where it cuts food waste, we will reduce it to an absolute minimum and what we do use will be fully recyclable.”

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