A Kenilworth butcher is taking a stand against pollution and aiming to boost sales by making the switch from plastic to paper packaging.
Paul Crowe of Steve Crowe and Son Butchers, in Whitemoor Road, decided to make the switch on Tuesday April 10 after the issue has come into public focus in recent months.
Paul said he eventually wished to halve the amount of plastic the business uses, and hoped to gain a few extra customers in the process.
He added: “We’ve got a responsibility to protect the environment.
“I don’t think we can get rid of plastic completely, but if I can I’d like to reduce it by 50 per cent. I think that’s achievable.
“We struggle with the big boys like the supermarkets who are selling meat cheaper than we are, but if we can get a few more customers talking about us, so much the better.”
Paul had thought about making the switch after concerns over wasteful use of plastic recently made national news.
He said: “I’ve seen things on TV showing some businesses going back to paper. Over the past month or so I’ve mentioned it to customers and many said it’d be miles better.
“We also had a few bringing in Tupperware (to put their purchases in).”
Raw meat bought by customers is wrapped in greaseproof paper, then put into a brown paper bag and sealed.
But Paul admitted using paper packaging is costing him a lot more money.
He added: “It’s turned out to be quite costly - buying paper is three times the price.
“I think if more businesses started using paper it would be cheaper.
“If it brings in a few new faces and we get extra customers it will pay for itself.”
Paul also said reaction from his customers since the business went to paper has been overwhelmingly positive.
He said: “I put up a little post on my Facebook page and it went mad. It had about 230 likes and 25 comments, all of them positive.
“All of the customers seem really impressed.”
Once Paul has used up all the paper he bought in his first order, he will assess how well the switch has been going and make a decision on whether to continue or not.
Other businesses have made changes to their packaging in recent months to try and reduce the amount of plastic they use.
In January, MPs from the Environmental Audit Committee supported Liberal Democrat calls for action on the amount of non-recyclable disposal coffee cups with a new 25p tax on every cup - known as the ‘latte levy’.
Waitrose has promised to get rid of all its disposable coffee cups by 2018.
And Coffee Architects in Leamington also said it would offer discounts to customers who brought their own mug and start work on developing a more environmentally-friendly cup.
The White Horse pub in Balsall Common also made the switch from plastic to paper earlier this year.