When John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace UK, heard a woman complain on the radio that supermarket croissants were cheaper to buy wrapped in plastic than paper, he was so startled he went straight to his local Co-op
“It was true,” Sauven said at a recent Guardian roundtable discussion on the future of waste. “If I bought two croissants in a brown paper bag, it was 79p [each], and if I bought them in a big plastic container it was 63p [each]. And I just thought … this is a complete failure of the system.”
The failure, of course, goes far beyond croissants. From the 300,000 tonnes of clothing the UK sent to landfill last year to the 7m coffee cups we chuck out each day, the scale of our throwaway habits are startlingly clear.