The National Federation of Women's Institutes has launched a campaign designed to pressure supermarkets into reducing unnecessary excess food packaging, a campaign organiser told just-food today (21 June).

The initiative, launched yesterday, aims to change the way supermarkets package food and raise awareness of the impact supermarkets have on the environment, an issue that the Competition Commission has explicitly excluded from its investigation into the UK grocery sector.

With more than one hundred actions planned across England and Wales, WI members will return unnecessary packaging to supermarkets and distribute leaflets to raise awareness of the issue. 

NFWI Chair Fay Mansell 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 campaign calls on supermarkets to reduce the use of carrier bags, use biodegradable packaging and adopt more environmentally friendly practices.

The initiative has attracted the high-profile support of UK actress Joanna Lumley, who also backed opposition to the resumption of veal exports. Lumley said: "I hate the wasteful and wholly unnecessary non-biodegradable rubbish attached to all our purchases - slash packaging! Stop cellophane!"