WI goes to war on waste

Once seen as nothing more than a social club for ageing ladies, the Women's Institute is becoming an increasingly political force for environmental change - and has now gone to war on waste.

Now more than an outlet for homebaked cakes, jam and slightly disturbing naked calendars, the National Federation of Women's Institutes is intent on tackling the environmental issues of the day - particularly when they impact on home and family.

Last autumn the ladies lined up with the WWF to campaign against the watering down of the EU's chemical-controlling REACH agreement related story.

Now the organisation is taking action against excessive food packaging - a huge source of household waste - by demanding supermarkets take steps to reduce wrapping.

Last week over 100 different actions took place across England and Wales as the institute sent delegation to supermarkets all over the land to distribute leaflets explaining the impact that supermarket practices and packaging can have on the environment.

NFWI Chair Fay Mansell, chair of the NFWI, said "WI members want supermarkets to reduce unnecessary packaging and put the environment first.

"I urge the public to join our campaign and return unnecessary and excessive packaging to supermarkets.

"Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our world today. Supermarkets must take action now to reduce the packaging which, as landfill waste, releases greenhouse gases."

The NFWI is calling on supermarkets to offer incentives to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags, adopt more environmentally friendly practices, extend the use of biodegradable packaging which can be composted and investigate other ways of improving packaging processes.

Sam Bond



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