The “world’s first” plastic-free supermarket aisle has been opened in Amsterdam.
More than 700 products, including meat, rice, sauces, dairy, chocolate, cereals, fruit and vegetables, will be available without plastic packaging in the Ekoplaza store, with plans to roll the concept out to all 74 of the Dutch organic supermarket chain’s sites by the end of the year.
The aisle will be used to test out new compostable bio-materials, as well as using traditional materials including glass, metal and cardboard, the scheme’s backers said.
All goods within the aisle will carry the Plastic Free mark, a label introduced by environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet, to help shoppers easily identify products that were free of plastic packaging.
Ekoplaza chief executive Erik Does said: “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,” he added.
Earlier this year prime minister Theresa May encouraged UK retailers to introduce ‘plastic-free’ aisles as she announced a target to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste within 25 years.
UK stores are making efforts to reduce plastic waste with the Co-operative Group having set a long-term target for 100% of its product packaging to be recyclable, with an interim target of 80% by 2020.
Frozen food retailer Iceland also hopes to eliminate plastic packaging from its own label products where possible by the end of 2023 and Waitrose has pledged to not sell any own label food in black plastic beyond 2019.