British retailer Asda has announced it will be stepping up the fight against plastic pollution as it launches its ‘Fishing for Plastic’ initiative.
In a bid to tackle the amount of plastic that finds its way into the sea, Asda is equipping all its supplier’s fleets with hardwearing and durable bags so that crews on over 500 vessels can now collect harmful plastic waste whilst bringing in the catch.
Bottles, plastic carrier bags and marine waste are amongst some of the most commonly found plastics that pollute the waters, but now with the help of Asda’s Fishing for Plastic scheme, these items can be brought into the harbour to be disposed of.
Waste collected through the Fishing for Plastic initiative includes marine waste, as well as everyday plastic items.
The scheme will be rolling out globally, as all of Asda’s wild caught fleets will receive the new recycling bags, with countries including Scotland, Alaska and Norway all participating.
Laura Babbs, Asda’s Sustainability Manager said:
“At Asda, we’ve worked hard to reduce and remove plastic from across the business but we always looking for ways to further our commitment to protecting the planet and working with our suppliers to tackle the wider issue of plastic pollution is vitally important.
"We can’t tackle big climate change issues alone and so it’s important for us to listen to and work in partnership with our suppliers, so we can make a real difference to tackling plastic pollution everyday. This is just a small step in our ongoing sustainability journey, but together with our suppliers, we have the ability to make a big difference. "
Helen Bird, Strategic Engagement Manager from WRAP (which leads The UK Plastics Pact) said: “Keeping plastic waste out of the natural environment is central to the aims of The UK Plastics Pact, so we welcome this move from one of our founding members. Collaborative working across supply chains is the only way we can tackle the issue of plastic pollution effectively.”
Suppliers for Asda’s mackerel, pollock, wild salmon, tuna, haddock and cod, the most popular dish with customers, will all now be able to help tackle plastic pollution everyday whilst bringing it the daily catch.
Since 2018, Asda has removed 8,000 tonnes of plastic and the retailer recently brought forward commitments to make almost a third of plastic packaging from recycled sources by the end of 2020, and reduce plastic by 15% by February 2021. It will also make all packaging – of whatever material – 100% recyclable by 2025.