UK Supermarkets: Green, But Not Green Enough

Britian’s supermarkets are becoming more environmentally friendly, but still need to do more in order to become truly green, a new report has revealed.
Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer and Waitrose were named as the three most eco-friendly food chains in the UK, each topping their rivals. The three supermarkets received a B rating in the latest green league table of retailers published by the National Consumer Council (NCC) .
The UK’s two largest grocery retailers Asda and Tesco also improved their green credentials, both upgrading from a grade D to a C, while Morrisons, Somerfield and the Co-Op received D grades.
However researchers said that althought the supermarkets had improved their ratings, not one of them had received top marks for the proportion of UK in-season produce on sale in their stores .
The NCC report found “wildly varying” performance in terms of the use by retailers of plastic bags and unnecessary packaging and criticised the price of energy-efficient light bulbs . The cheapest energy-saving light bulbs available in both Sainsbury’s and the Co-op were found to cost more than 20 times the price of traditional light bulbs .
Larry Whitty, Chair of the NCC, said: “NCC’s research has spotted important signs of progress right across the market, with all stores now beginning to embrace sustainability. But much remains to be done if supermarkets are to become truly green grocers.”
The consumer council is now calling on all British supermarkets to bring in a raft of improvements to become more eco-friendly, including sourcing more UK seasonal fruit and vegetables, selling more low-cost energy-saving light bulbs, encouraging shoppers to reuse carrier bags and using more recycled materials in packaging .
In addition, supermarkets are also being urged to sell more fish from sustainable sources and to adopt tougher targets to increase the amount of organic and low-chemical foods on sale .

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