Keynsham Plastic Re-Action campaigners plan second protest at local supermarket

May 07 2018

A group of Keynsham campaigners whose first anti-plastic protest gained worldwide attention are planning a second demonstration at a local supermarket.

Footage of shoppers removing plastic packaging from their food and leaving it at the checkouts at the town’s Tesco store went viral in the weeks after the event organised by the Keynsham Plastic Re-Action Group.

As well as making national news in both the press and on TV, the video from the day has been viewed almost 17 million times since it was posted online by Radio Bristol. Messages have also poured in from around the world, say organisers, including from Australia, America, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, with many people inspired to hold their own event and asking for advice.

Now shoppers in Keynsham are being invited to join a second local protest on Saturday, May 12, when supporters of the campaign visit the town’s Waitrose store to shop and then remove and hand back the plastic packaging.

The group will be arriving at the store at 4.30pm to carry out a short shop and anyone who would like to get involved is advised to bring alternative containers and bags.

One of the organisers, Helen Stone, said: “We were absolutely amazed by the reaction to our first event – both from the media and the public. Coverage was included in the local press, on local TV news, on Radio Bristol, mentioned in the national press and on evening national BBC News.

“What has been particularly great has been the interest, both from other areas of the UK and from abroad, from people keen to hold similar events and we do indeed seem to have been successful in one of our aims – encouraging people to take action within their own communities and recognise that as consumers we can have some impact on what happens around us and to us.

“We hope that continued ‘actions’ at our local stores will attract increasing numbers of people to join us in removing and returning plastic wrappings from their purchases – until they each agree to reveal the amount of plastic packaging they create, to pay towards its safe disposal and, as a matter of urgency, take steps to phase out its use.”

Waitrose announced at the end of April that it would be donating £1 million from carrier bag levy funds to help tackle plastic pollution. Research by the Commonwealth Marine Plastics Research and Innovation Challenge into marine plastic pollution will receive £500,000 while the other £500,000 will go to the Marine Conservation Society to support another 12 months of beach and river clean-ups.
The retailer also says it is removing all disposable takeaway coffee cups from its stores by autumn 2018, which it says will save more than 52 million cups a year, while its cafes use non-plastic crockery and wooden drink stirrers.

The supermarket says it is committed to making all its own-label packaging widely recyclable, reusable or home compostable by 2025.

To find out more about Keynsham Plastic Re-Action, visit the group’s Facebook page, where you can get in touch and follow the latest updates.