Bulk loads of plastic packaging have been given back to two chain supermarkets by consumers who want to make a stand.
Both Sainsbury's and Aldi in Deal received two trolleys filled with plastic collected from one household's groceries so far in 2021.
It was part of a protest organised by East Kent Climate Action (EKCA)and organised by Helen O'Brien who said just 9% is recycled of the 8.3bn tonnes of virgin plastic produced worldwide.
"The oil industry produces and promotes the use of plastics.
"We say the fossil fuel giants should stop pushing plastics.
"The recycling of plastics is very limited. Of the 8.3bn tonnes of virgin plastic produced worldwide, only 9% of plastic has been recycled. Plastic can only be recycled once and has to be mixed with larger parts of virgin plastic in order to become usable."
She and colleagues from EKCA want the big retailers to find more zero waste options or plant-based packaging like pototo starch bags.
Janet Wakeman EKCA campaigner said: “we were very impressed with the constructive response from the duty manager at Sainsbury's who discussed the problem, offered suggestions and received our plastic waste, without any problem.
"He said that he understood our concerns but that store managers have little control over the volume of single use plastic packaging that comes in, wrapping their products."
EKCA vowed to lobby the Sainsbury’s CEO about how to improve on their pledge to reduce plastic packaging by 50% by 2025.
Sainsbury's has been contacted for a comment.
But the reception at Aldi was more disappointing, according to Mrs O’Brien.
She said: "As customers of Aldi and citizens we had hoped Aldi would spare a few minutes to discuss the ‘drowning in plastics’ problem with us but it was only after threatening to report us for fly-tipping that we finally persuaded a duty manager to take-back the plastic packaging we’d brought with Aldi products, and none of the managers were willing to discuss the issue, despite Aldi’s national promise to reduce plastic packaging.”
A spokesman for Aldi said: “At Aldi we are committed to further reducing plastic throughout our stores and have pledged to halve our plastic packaging footprint by 2025.
“We have already removed over 7,400 tonnes of plastic from across our range, including banning single-use plastic bags for loose fruit and veg, removing plastic lids from yoghurt and cream pots and removing all shrink-wrapping from own-label multipack soft drinks. Earlier this year, we began trialling soft plastics recycling at 20 of our stores and, if successful, we hope to extend soft plastics recycling to stores across the UK.”
EKCA will be continuing its campaigning on Fridays by returning plastic to stores.