Euan McGrory: Tesco need to keep step with public on plastic

Graeme Corry has been stopped by Tesco's from bring in his own containers for his shopping. Picture: Stewart Attwood
Graeme Corry has been stopped by Tesco's from bring in his own containers for his shopping. Picture: Stewart Attwood
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Are you old enough to remember those stores where food was served in scoops rather like the pick ‘n’ mix sweetie counters of today?

You don’t have to be that old as they were fairly common place in the 1980s and 1990s although before that they were the standard in grocers’ shops. You could if you wanted take your own container to be filled up with flour or cereal, while the butcher next door would sell bacon and sausages wrapped in paper.

There is more than a hint of going ‘back to the future’ about shopper Graeme Corry’s thwarted attempt to get his local Tesco to serve him cheese and meat without using plastic wrappers. As we report today, spurred on by growing concerns about the environmental impact of unnecessary plastic packaging he took his own containers to the delicatessen counter. Staff were happy to help until a decree from Tesco HQ told them to stop, amid concerns about the practice breaking health and safety regulations.

Not many of us would go as far as Mr Corry, but most will sympathise with his aim. Tesco will have to deliver on their promise to find plastic-free alternatives pretty quickly if they are to keep step with public opinion.