New product labeling helps customers to choose greener products
Responsible Consumption
Waste Reduction

There has been growing concern about the devastating impact of plastic on the oceans and wider environment. Plastic pollution is now so widespread that it has been found in tap water, fish and sea salt. Roughly 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the ocean every year, while supermarkets are responsible for 1m tonnes of plastic waste a year. It is a harrowing figure that should remind us of the serious issue of pollution and the potentially dire health consequences that may follow.

Fortunately, new product labeling may assist supermarket shoppers in buying food and drinks that aren’t packaged in plastic. The label will be mainly displayed on food and drink products, allowing consumers to choose greener alternatives more easily. This may help to reduce the overall plastic wastage. The Campaign group “A Plastic Planet” called the label they developed the “Plastic Free Trust Mark” shopping label, which has been adopted in certain European supermarket chains and a tea company. The campaigners are hoping that the labeling will inspire more retailers to adopt a “no plastic” policy.

“A Plastic Planet” co-founder Sian Sutherland states that “Our trust mark cuts through the confusion of symbols and labels and tells you just one thing — this packaging is plastic-free and therefore guilt-free. Finally, shoppers can be part of the solution not the problem.” Iceland managing director, Richard Walker, said: “With the grocery retail sector accounting for more than 40% of plastic packaging in the UK, it’s high time that Britain’s supermarkets came together to take a lead on this issue. I’m proud to lead a supermarket that is working with A Plastic Planet to realize a plastic-free future for food and drink retail.”

The world’s first plastic-free supermarket aisle opened in February at the Amsterdam branch of Netherlands-based supermarket chain “Ekoplaza”. Within this aisle, customers will be able to choose from more than 700 plastic-free products. Eventually, the company hopes to roll out plastic-free aisles at all of its 74 locations. In May, Iceland adopted the new “Plastic Free Trust Mark” labelling system, as it targets the end of single-use plastic packaging by 2023.