Letters / Concern over plastic use

It is with both delight and sadness I write this letter about the Co-operative store in Lerwick.

It is with both delight and sadness I write this letter about the Co-operative store in Lerwick.

Delighted to see the long overdue refurbishment in the store and in awe at how the staff are coping to do their normal daily duties right in the midst of it all so well done you folk. Oh and the improvements look great once we all find out where things are.


Sadness that the facelift seems to be including further reductions in loose fresh fruit and vegetables and more plastic pre packed goods. I’m stunned at this given the global response to single use plastic and the death, destruction and massive environmental pollution it’s causing.

To add insult to injury the Co-operative, who were once the high street’s most ethical retailer, are running the opposite way to all their competitors who are reducing and phasing out their single use plastic packaging and therefore their environmental impact.


I wrote to the CEO of the Co-operative Group to raise this, pointing out that the refurbishment was a golden opportunity to regain some of their lost ethical trading respect.

In addition I pointed out that the number of single households in the UK, be they elderly or younger households, was year on year increasing and single households really wanted to reduce both their plastic waste and food waste by being able to buy loose or individual pears, apples, parsnips etc and not a big bag full that went off before they could use it all.


The reply advised me of some of the Co-operative’s measures to reduce their waste, which to me largely focused on their internal distribution systems. However the reply categorically stated that in the Co-operative’s opinion putting fresh produce in pre-packed plastic bags reduced waste!

Now I’m either missing something here or all the other supermarkets and retailers out there are going in the wrong direction by reducing their plastic waste.

Sorry Mr Steve Murrells, CEO of the Co-operative Group. You are completely wrong and absolutely out of step with all but perhaps the plastics industry!

Vic Thomas