Retailers and supermarkets in the United Kingdom have stepped their game to lessen their plastic product waste by taking away single-use plastics in their packaging during this Christmas season.

Due to that, the packaging of groceries bought in their stores boasts a flurry of eco-friendly wrapping for Christmas puddings, pastry foods, desserts, chocolates, and glitter-free greeting cards and crackers.

Manufacturers and Retailers Remove Single-Use Plastics in their Products

According to The Guardian's report, Tesco has removed over 20 million pieces of single-use plastics from their Christmas items this year, including crackers, light cards, and packaging for puddings. They said that it is a part of their efforts in reducing pollution due to single-use plastics.

Moreover, their frozen food specialist rival from Iceland has also declared a "plastic-free Christmas" for two consecutive years already on their 24 products in their festive range this season. Last year, they only included 18 of their products, but they are stepping up now, adding more party food and desserts, and their Christmas cake without the protective plastic topper.

Marks & Spencer said that this year is the first time that they will not be using their signature black plastic packaging for their Christmas pudding as part of their goal to ensure that all their packaging will be recyclable by 2022.

Additionally, Cadbury's owner Mondelez, said that their company has already strapped plastic trays from their entire adult chocolate selection boxes in the UK. He added that they aim to remove a total of 1.1 million plastic trays from their chocolates this Christmas.

They said that the plastic trays in the brands Bourneville, Cadbury, Classic collection, Darkmilk, Oreo, and Toblerone would be replaced by cardboard.

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An Effort to Reduce Plastic Waste

In a previous report from The Guardian, they reported that the use of plastic bags in the UK this year drops by 59%. Meanwhile, the use of single-use plastics has dropped by 95% ever since the introduction of the 5p charge in 2015.

Also, Science Times reported a few months ago that England has officially banned the selling of plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds starting on October 1. The law was supposed to be implemented last April, but lockdowns have delayed this implementation.

The country is making an effort to reduce its plastic waste, and now industries are doing their part by removing single-use plastics in their products this holiday season. Their decision comes after global concerns about the environmental impacts of global single-use plastics.

However, campaigners said that the plastic tide has not been fully turned and that reducing plastic wastes has stalled. According to a recent report, although the number of plastics used were reduced by 40%, the number of recyclable packaging being placed on the market is still between 63%-64%, not to mention the setbacks caused by lockdowns this year.

Greenpeace UK plastics campaigner at Nina Schrank said that reducing single-use plastics for packaging this year is still hard to judge and compare against last year. She said that reducing plastic wastes during the holiday season sends an important message and questions the plastic packaging in the aisles of stores all year round.

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