CONCERNS HAVE BEEN raised with one of Moray’s largest superstores over the number of plastic bags being carried from around their premises – and turning up on the beach at Lossiemouth.
An accusing finger is being firmly pointed in the direction of Tesco’s store at Borough Briggs in Elgin, who have been approached by a local environmental group for help in reducing the rubbish being dumped around their premises.
Pete Miners from the Coast of Moray Beach Cleaners group wrote to the store’s customer engagement centre last week after his group were repeatedly finding Tesco hot-deli bags along the River Lossie.
Mr Miners had already noted many of the bags turning up on the river as far north as Lossiemouth, prompting a check of the area in the vicinity of the store.
He told the store group: “Just 150m from the Elgin store in the steeply banked area flanking the river we have noted a terrible amount of rubbish – typically plastic bottles and cans, soft drinks and alcohol.
“I have personally removed over 305 glass bottles from the area and I wondered if perhaps Tesco might take some responsibility and organise a periodic clean-up themselves.”
Mr Miners had noted that other Elgin businesses had taken a responsible attitude by organising their own clear ups of the immediate area around their stores.
However, the response from the national store was less than helpful. Danielle Thomas from Tesco’s Customer Engagement Service wrote: “As I’m sure you can imagine when an item is purchased from Tesco we have to trust that the packaging will be disposed of correctly and not just thrown on the floor.
“So, it’s disappointed to hear that this has not been the case. However, your feedback in regards to possibly changing the bags to something customers might hold onto until they get to a bin will certainly be kept in mind.
“Also, in regards to collecting litter from the local area, again this is not something I could promise we could do, but I’d certainly be happy to pass on your suggestion.”
Mr Miners said he was disappointed at the response, saying that he would hope a responsible company such as Tesco might review their environmental management strategy.
He said: “There are precedents at Elgin for fast food retailers to pick their own litter back up – McDonalds fast food staff have been doing this for over a decade.
“I went to quite considerable risk to retrieve these bags from riverbanks and had to climb over bridge parapets and crawl into bushes, in order to make quite a comprehensive point to the company.
“I had hoped for a better response on what is a serious issue – Tesco’s apparent indifference is very disappointing.”
However, last night it emerged that Tesco had a change of heart with Mr Miners being advised that the local store would be willing to look at the possibility of arranging a litter collection in the area around the Elgin store, and have asked Mr Miners to meet with the store’s Community Champion to discuss a way ahead.