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BUYING loose fruit and vegetables is often MORE expensive than buying the exact same product in plastic packaging, new figures have revealed.

Findings from Money Saving Expert show that leading supermarkets are charging shoppers more for being environmentally-friendly, in what campaigners are calling an "addiction" to plastic.

In Asda, a six-pack of apples cost PS1.25, nearly 70p more than the price of the same six apples without the plastic.

Courgettes sold by the supermarket giant were also cheaper in packaging. A pack of three courgettes cost PS1.20, compared with PS1.62 to buy them loose.

In Lidl, five loose oranges cost PS1.50, compared with 95p if bought in a packet. Three loose peppers cost PS1.44, while a packet of three again cost 95p.

Morrisons also sold fruit and vegetables in plastic packaging for cheaper. Their Royal Gala apples were over PS1 more expensive to buy loose.

Some argue packaging the freshness In Sainsbury's, Granny Smith apples, mixed peppers and bananas were again all cheaper to buy in packaging than loose.

Fruit and vegetables in Tesco followed a similar pattern. Three loose peppers were more expensive than three in plastic packaging -although three onions were 3p cheaper to buy loose.

Some supermarkets did tend to sell loose fruit for a cheaper price than that in plastic packaging, however.

that plastic helps preserve of fruit and vegetables For example, six loose bananas from Waitrose cost 84p - a total of 16p cheaper than six packaged bananas. Royal Gala apples were PS2 in plastic packaging when bought at the supermarket, but only PS1.24 if bought loose.

Craig Leeson, from environmental charity Plastic Oceans, said: "Supermarkets have said plastic is used to elongate the life of some fruits and vegetables, but it is also to increase the perceived value of the item so that people think if it's wrapped in plastic it must be special.

"Ultimately, we need to stop this addiction we have to single-use plastics by banning these products outright. There are alternatives and always have been."

Fruit and in Waitrose cheaper to buy in plastic " All supermarkets are part of the British Retail Consortium, which is the trade representative of retail shops

A spokesperson for the organisation said: "Retailers are continuing to reduce the amount of packaging and ensure the packaging they do use is recyclable.

"Although there are plastic free parts of a supermarket, such as loose, fresh produce, packaging still plays an important role in reducing food waste and has to be seen in the wider context of the total environmental impact of our food supply chain.

vegetables were often loose than packaging "For example, shrink wrapped cucumber will last around five times longer than non-shrink


Some argue that plastic packaging helps preserve the freshness of fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables in Waitrose were often cheaper to buy loose than in plastic packaging

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Apr 4, 2018
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