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You're living in the plast; GREEN GROUPS STICK THE KNIFE INTO PRET; Anger as chain U-turns and puts plastic cutlery back on display.

Byline: Emylie Howie

Sandwich giant Pret A Manger has been accused of taking a "backward step" by staging a U-turn on single-use plastics.

The food retailer took throwaway cutlery off the shelves in July last year after pressure from eco campaigners and customers. It was placed behind the counter and only handed to buyers on request.

But the plastic knives and forks are now back on display, freely available to customers.

Friends of the Earth Scotland said: "The company is taking a backward step in encouraging customers to use single-use plastics by putting plastic cutlery back on display.

"If we're to really tackle plastic pollution and move towards a circular economy, we must end our throwaway culture for good."

Fiona Nicholls, ocean plastics campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said: "Businesses like Pret should be getting rid of throwaway cutlery altogether - anything less is out of step with public opinion and will lead to disposable cutlery entering our oceans.

"Pret already offers reusable coffee cups and flasks, so why not encourage customers to bring their own cutlery and offer reusable cutlery too?" Mark Ruskell of the Scottish Greens said: "The story of Pret A Manger's brief attempt to cut plastic use is hugely revealing.

"It shows we cannot rely on voluntary measures by industry to change behaviours and tackle the climate emergency. Ultimately, they are driven purely by profit, so it is up to government to act."

Pret has said degradable cutlery will be introduced in all its UK shops by the end of the year. But they faced an online backlash from customers after the plastics ban.

Last year, Pret started giving 50p discounts on coffees and teas for customers who brought their own cups.

Sir David Attenborough helped put plastic pollution on the global agenda when his Blue Planet II series for BBC1 showed its shocking impact on marine life.

In January last year, the Sunday Mail launched its Last Straw campaign to make Scotland the first plastic strawfree country in Europe. We called on fast food chains, pubs, clubs, restaurants and retailers to swap plastic straws for paper-based alternatives. Our efforts have led to the Scottish Government considering a ban on plastic straws. Pret A Manger said: "Earlier this year we began moving our cutlery and napkins behind the counter, as part of our wider efforts to reduce the amount of unnecessary single-use plastics in our shops. Following customer feedback, we have decided to move the cutlery and napkins back to the shop floor.

"We remain absolutely committed to cutting down on single-use plastics in our shops and are planning to roll out wooden cutlery later this year."

Businesses like Pret should get rid of throwaway cutlery altogether

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INSIDE by Kat's got the cream for McCainJOE PUNTER PAGES 4&5 MESSI OF THE MERSEY Rush: Salah's worth PS200mMo Salah's value is spiralling out of control and Ian Rush says he'll soon be worth more than Lionel Messi. Now Liverpool's all-time record goalscorer insists it's up to the Reds to make sure the Egyptian doesn't follow PS142million Philippe Coutinho out of the exit door. Salah is ready to face Man City today, one of the clubs with the deep pockets to fork out a fee Rush estimates at PS200m. Rush said: "On current form I would place Mo ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Right now he's better than both of them. "He's also the African Player of the Year which considering the standard of their players throughout Europe is a great honour. "There has already been talk of Real Madrid looking and who can blame "In today's inflated it wouldn't surprise Liverpool one day received PS200m bid for him."Hopefully right now happy where he is."After all, he only last summer. "There's a time and place to sell a pla

SORT IT OUT. Fiona

HELP YOURSELF Plastic cutlery in a Pret branch
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 18, 2019
Words:647
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