How Tesco Could Save The Planet

There’s no doubting that supermarkets could be more ecologically sound. While the current battle seems to be over carrier bags, the sad truth is that they are only the tip of the slowly melting iceberg. Before the products even touch a carrier bag they’re over-packaged and over-wrapped in ream upon ream of plastic, cardboard and other such waste. Over half the weight of your shopping is packaging, and that’s all destined for the Great Landfill we laughingly call our home planet.

Not, I hasten to add, that I’m a great eco-warrior or anything. I don’t think for a second that this environmental push has anything to do with “saving the planet” – the Earth will get along just fine without us for another billion or so years, thanks very much. The threat (if, indeed, it exists, and it probably does) has more to do with saving ourselves. It’s a selfish reason wrapped in warm cuddly language; that’s not a bad thing though, but I just wish we were more honest about the motivations. Of course, it would help if the marketers hadn’t turned it into One More Brand Point ™. Marketers will kill the global movement, I swear.

But anyway. On to Tescos.

Even without doing a damned thing about the packaging, supermarkets like Tescos (I’m using them as an example, so bear with me here) could save an awful lot of waste with little or no cost to themselves. Here’s how.

If you’re a Clubard user, don’t give out a till receipt. Don’t print one at all.

Tescos record all of your purchases automatically, so why not make our information available back to us. Let us check our purchases online through our Clubcard number, and use that as our proof of purchase should any problems arise. No till receipt means one less piece of paper to degrade, multiplied by a factor of millions every single day. That’s lower costs for Tesco, more convenience for us, and a decent nod toward ecological soundness, all at the same time.

What do you think? Would you be happy without a till receipt?

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