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18 June 2021 Press Release


The FPA responds to claims made in a study from the University of Cadiz.

Executive Director Martin Kersh says:

“We agree with the University of Cadiz scientists that pollution must be stopped at source by ensuring no items escape into the natural environment, be it on land or sea. This is down to every citizen as a consumer. 

“The table doesn’t distinguish between those items consumed on the go and those bought for home consumption, some of which may be also be consumed out of the home for example at a  picnic on the beach  or young people meeting in the park.. Is a pot of hummus purchased from a grocery store takeaway food if consumed out of the home? Could a proportion of the first four items tabled (plastic bags, plastic bottles, food containers and wrappers) relate to food not designed for the takeaway sector? We would benefit from more detailed identification of the packaging collected before claiming the takeaway food sector dominates marine litter.

“There is nothing wrong with the packaging per se but there is with the humans who litter. Littering anywhere on land, sea or even  down drains with  no thought to where the items  discarded might end up is unacceptable.. We’ve all seen smokers disposing of cigarette ends in drains and by not recording items under three centimetres, an opportunity has been lost to put marine litter into a clearer context. Cigarette in drains end up in marine environments. 

“We trust the University of Cadiz will seek all the items tabled to be equally stopped at source, be it food packaging or fishing industry related and will also seek to take action on cigarette litter. Such selectivity doesn’t help to change the behaviour of those who litter - we need to take action on all litter and not just the headline grabbing element and work together with organisations such as Waste Aid who address the problem at source and who we and others seeking to take positive action support financially.”


Issued on behalf of the Foodservice Packaging Association by Leapfrog PR. Editorial contact is or call 01242 282000 or mobile 07887 608353