Open fridges in supermarkets should be banned because they waste too much energy and release “super-greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, campaigners have said. Analysis by experts suggests that supermarket fridges use more than 1 per cent of Britain’s entire power supply each year, and a significant proportion of that could be saved if they had doors. A 30,000sq ft supermarket consumes about 1.5 million kWh of energy a year, the equivalent of boiling a kettle 15 million times, according to Businesswaste.co.uk, a waste consultancy. There are about 6,000 supermarkets in the UK and an additional 50,000 convenience stores in Britain, most of which have open fridges. Open fridges are preferred by retailers for their ease of use and for encouraging impulse buys. However, they are inefficient because much of the cool air is lost to the surrounding environment. Experts say that the refrigerant used by many retailers consists of hydrofluorocarbons, a group of so-called super-greenhouse gases, which damage the environment if they leak. Mark Hall, of BusinessWaste.co.uk, said that promising to reduce harmful emissions was “all well and good”, but retailers had been slow to act. He added: “By continuing to use open fridges, they are simply paying lip service to improving their environmental credentials. Shoppers adapt quickly to new initiatives – the 5p plastic carrier bag levy is an excellent example of the general public quickly adopting new ways of shopping.” He said that with environmental concerns high on the public agenda, consumers were increasingly willing to accept change to protect the planet.
Times 26th Aug 2019 read more »