Shoppers across Switzerland have started dumping plastic wrapping at supermarkets in protest at what they see as excessive plastic packaging.
The practice, which started in at a Tesco in Keynsham near Bristol in the UK in March – see video below, has spread around the world.
Groups, such as Naries, the association behind a plastic attack at a Migros in Thonex in Geneva, often use social media to bring people together.
Migros, which has long offered recycling, met with Naries to discuss their action in Thonex, and provided them with empty supermarket trolleys and space near the store exit to help them, according to the newspaper 20 Minutes.
The proposed solution to excessive supermarket plastic is to sell loose produce that shoppers take home in reusable bags. Under this system plastic-wrapped vegetables and the bags next to supermarket scales would disappear.
Another waste problem is drink cartons. These are made from a composite material that is costly to recycle. Because of this very few are recycled in Switzerland. In 2017, Aldi Switzerland added collection bins for these cartons alongside plastic recycling bins. Other Swiss supermarkets have not followed.
It could be argued that recycling is part of the problem. It only reduces the environmental impact while absolving guilt and reducing the likelihood shoppers will avoid packaged products altogether. A reusable flask of tap water instead of a drink in a box or plastic bottle saves money, the environment and human health. If recycling was reframed as a fallback when avoidance isn’t a realistic option, trash heaps would shrink.
Plastic attacks are certainly helping to stir reflection and prompt questions. This month’s plastic wrapped edition of the National Geographic carries the headline: plastic or planet?