Merton Council

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Excessive packaging

Landfill site

Over 40% of household waste is retail packaging. Even when this waste is recycled or composted there is still some impact on the environment. So it is best to try not to produce waste in the first place.

What you think

We carried out a survey to find out what you think about packaging. Of the residents who responded, the overwhelming opinion was that there is too much packaging used on products. 30% called for tougher legislation while 18% thought that consumer power could play a major part in affecting change. Suggestions ranged from taking packaging back to the stores where the goods were bought to launching a national campaign to change people’s habits. Other ideas included using containers that can be refilled by shops, more loose produce and paper bags rather than plastic bags for fruit and vegetables.

What we are doing

By educating and informing both businesses and consumers, it is hoped that the use of unnecessary packaging can be reduced and result in an improved environment for everyone. We advise local businesses, residents and community groups on what they can do to minimise their waste.

We worked in partnership with Sustainable Merton on their initiative to make Wimbledon Park the first plastic bag free area in the borough.

Business advice

If your business is based in the borough and you need advice about this subject or other consumer and fair trading matters, you can contact us directly at You can also visit the Business Companion website which covers all major Trading Standards legislation.

For comprehensive and up to date guidance on how to deal with customer complaints, refunds and returns visit the Sale of Goods Act (SOGA) hub website. All the training and promotional materials provided are available to access online or to download in a variety of formats.

The law

The Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2003 (as amended) requires that packaging must be minimised, reusable or recyclable. If you are a Merton business and would like advice, please get in touch.

See also

Contact us

Trading Standards
Merton Civic Centre
London Road

Tel: 020 8545 3025

Consumer Advice

The Citizens Advice consumer service provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues. Visit or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

This page was last updated on Thursday 19 November 2015

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