Call by Warwickshire Green Party to leave excess packaging at supermarket checkouts

Warwickshire County Council is to write to the Prime Minister in a bid to reduce the use of excess packaging used by supermarkets.

But a call by Green Party members on the council urging residents to ‘get bolshie’ and to take matters into their own hands failed to win support from other councillors.

Plastic waste

Plastic waste

Cllr Jonathan Chilvers (Green Leamington Brunswick) put forward a notice of motion during a full council meeting on Tuesday December 17, which said: “This council encourages all Warwickshire residents to leave excess packaging at supermarket checkouts.”

Speaking at the meeting he added: “The council spends about £20m of taxpayers money every year disposing of packaging and waste of all types.

“If in Warwickshire we were able to reduce the amount of stuff that was produced in the first place by just five per cent that would save the taxpayer £1m a year. That is what this motion is calling on residents to make a contribution towards that.

“We need individuals to use their consumer power to leave excess packaging at the supermarket tills so that supermarkets get the message. It will be their responsibility to get rid of it and money talks.”

His colleague in the chamber Cllr Keith Kondakor (Green Weddington) added: “The time to act is now - consumers need to get angry. It’s about redesigning the system. I’m really pleased we have a motion encouraging residents to be bolshie, awkward and change the world for the better.”

But Cllr Heather Timms (Con Earl Craven), the portfolio holder for the environment and heritage and culture, put forward an amended motion which called on Boris Johnson to use the new National Waste Strategy to tackle the excess packaging issue.

She said: “I cannot accept the Green motion because I believe it has the potential to incite conflict between our residents. We need to promote goodwill.”

Cllr Adrian Warwick (Con Fosse) suggested that if concerned residents wanted to put pressure on supermarkets then they should not give them their custom and buy their groceries from small, independent shops instead where not as much packaging was used."

The amended motion put forward by the Conservatives was passed.