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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 23:21 GMT 00:21 UK
Supermarkets 'not green enough'
Tesco carrier bag
Tesco is introducing biodegradable carrier bags
Supermarkets are not doing enough to help all their customers make environmentally-friendly choices, a consumer group has warned.

The National Consumer Council (NCC) is calling on the UK's eight leading supermarket chains to do more to cut waste and source more food locally.

They should also set targets to have 100% recycled packaging, it says.

None of the companies did well in the group's report though Morrisons and Somerfield got the lowest ratings.

Waitrose was the best performer in the survey, done by the Food Commission, which visited two branches of each store - one in the north east and one in the south east of England.

However it was found to stock organic strawberries which had been flown from New Zealand.

Progress acknowledged

Reuseable shopping bags
Fewer plastic carrier bags
Year-round locally-sourced food
Less out-of-season produce flown to UK
Targets of 100% recycled packaging

Last week Sainsbury's announced 500 of its 10,000 own-brand products now has compostable packaging, while Tesco is introducing biodegradable bags and rewarding customers for bringing their own reusuable bags and boxes.

The NCC report acknowledged supermarkets' efforts to improve their approach to green issues.

But it urged them to make environmentally-friendly options the norm for all shoppers, rather than simply the more ecologically aware.

"We all need to understand that food is the typical household's number one contributor to climate change," NCC chairman Lord Whitty said.

"By throwing away ten billion carrier bags each year and transporting carrots from Egypt and strawberries from New Zealand, we hit the environment hard."

Morrisons said it was making progress in areas covered by the report and said it recognised the challenge it faced.

"We intend maintaining our momentum through our programme of continuous improvement," a spokesman said.

Food Waste Sustainable Overall
transport farming score
Asda B E D D
Co-op C D C D
Morrisons D E D E
Sainsbury`s D C B C
Somerfield C E E E
Tesco D C C D
Waitrose C C B B
Source: The National Consumer Council

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