34 year old Marathon wrapper found in Sidmouth sparks calls for packaging changes
PUBLISHED: 17:53 18 February 2019
The discovery of a chocolate wrapper on Sidmouth beach from the 1980s has renewed calls for companies to think about the environment.
Sidmouth Plastic Warriors’ Rachel Perram was picking up rubbish on Valentine’s Day when she discovered the Marathon bar packaging.
On the reverse the wrapper showed a best before date of June 22 1985 – nearly 34 years ago.
Rachel took to Twitter to call on owners Mars to think about using plastic packaging of its products.
She said: “The humble Marathon bar - the snack that keeps on giving. Who knew? Found on Sidmouth beach today. [February 14]
“Time to think about degradable packaging and take this recycling lark seriously.”
Last year, the Herald reported on an old Smith’s crisps packet, dating back to the 1970s, that was found intact in a hedge.
Rachel said: “You can still read all the writing and the best before date. It’s really surprising.
“I pick up rubbish off the beach a couple of times a week.
“When I was a youngster their [Mars] packaging was wax paper and then they changed to plastic, the question is why hasn’t this gone full circle?”
As part of the group’s work, members contact companies via social media asking them to think about plastic-free alternatives, but says they struggle to get responses.
Rachel said: “It is lucky if we get a response from companies, they say our company takes ‘environmental issues’ seriously but that is just a cut and paste response.
“They [companies] do not want to speak to anybody and are pretty reluctant to do anything unless their competitors do it.
“Along with climate change, there is a connection between the two.
“These are the things that are slowly taking our planet. One thing goes hand in hand with the other.
“My concerns are that not only did we make mistakes in the past, but that there seems little inclination from the corporate world to change - unless forced to by legislation.”
Sidmouth received plastic free status last year from Surfers Against Sewage for its work to combat single-use plastic.
Sidmouth Plastic Warriors’ next beach clean will be held on Saturday (February 23), from 2pm to 3pm.