Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza has joined with environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet has created the world’s first Plastic Free Aisle. The plastic free aisle features almost 700 plastic-free products. The products included in the initial pilot scheme include: meat; rice; sauces; dairy; chocolate; cereals; yogurt; fresh fruit and vegetables all conveniently packaged.
Ekoplaza plans to roll out the aisle across its 74 branches across the Netherlands by the end of 2018, with a second store with a Plastic Free Aisle expected to be opened in The Hague in June.
The aisle will act as a testbed for innovative new compostable bio-materials as well as traditional materials such as glass, metal and cardboard.
Goods within the aisle will all bear the Plastic Free Mark, a new label introduced by A Plastic Planet to help shoppers quickly identify products that are completely free from plastic packaging.
A Plastic Planet co-founder Sian Sutherland said: “The introduction of the world’s first Plastic Free Aisle represents a landmark moment for the global fight against plastic pollution.
“For decades shoppers have been sold the lie that we can’t live without plastic in food and drink. A Plastic Free Aisle dispels all that. Finally we can see a future where the public have a choice about whether to buy plastic or plastic free. Right now we have no choice.
“There is absolutely no logic in wrapping something as fleeting as food in something as indestructible as plastic. Plastic food and drink packaging remains useful for a matter of days yet remains a destructive presence on the earth for centuries afterwards.
“Europe’s biggest supermarkets must follow Ekoplaza’s lead and introduce a Plastic Free Aisle at the earliest opportunity to help turn off the plastic tap.”
Ekoplaza Chief Executive Erik Does said: “Plastic Free Aisles are an important stepping stone to a brighter future for food and drink.
“We know that our customers are sick to death of products laden in layer after layer of thick plastic packaging. Plastic Free Aisles are a really innovative way of testing the compostable biomaterials that offer a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic packaging.”