Greenpeace Taiwan urges unpackaged shopping

Taipei,  Greenpeace Taiwan on Tuesday reiterated its call for shopping for goods without non-recyclable packaging as its annual report shows that nine major retailers and convenience store chains have still failed to provide such items for their customers.

Green Taiwan announced the results of its 2020 report at a news conference in which it said that RT-Mart, Costco, FamilyMart, PX Mart, Simple Mart, Carrefour, 7-Eleven, Wellcome and a-mart all failed in the assessment in terms of plastic reduction, cutback actions, innovative initiatives and information transparency.

Based on a score of 100 for full compliance, PX Mart topped the list with a score of 28.6, followed by FamilyMart in second place, while Wellcome ranked bottom with 9.2, behind Simple Mart and RT-Mart.

Compared with 2019, Costco and Wellcome are the only two to have gained lower rankings despite their slightly higher scores, Greenpeace Taiwan said.

According to the non-governmental environmental organization, the major reason why they lag behind is due to the paucity of revealing their plastic footprint, a lack of transparency of information and a lack of an overall plan to cut their use of single-use plastic packaging.

Suzanne Lo (羅祖珍), a project manager at Greenpeace Taiwan, said global data over the last five years showed that more than 100 pieces of food product packaging could be found per kilometer on Taiwan’s beaches.

Citing a report by Science Magazine, Lo said, by 2040, almost 30 million metric tons of plastic globally, triple the current level, will end up in the ocean per year if no changes are made to current production, consumption, and management of waste plastic.

Although many Taiwanese businesses have opted to use polylactide — a recyclable and compostable polyester — in a bid to reduce the use of plastics, no mechanisms have been established anywhere in the world to recycle such material, she said.

This means that no matter what material is used to wrap products, the packaging is no less damaging to nature, she explained.

Lo urged Taiwan’s retailers to change their sales models by discarding packaging materials that are difficult to recycle, or to sell unpackaged products, as part of efforts to alter the the business model of manufacturers and consumers’ purchasing habits.


Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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