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Dutch retailer launches plastic-free aisle

02 March 2018

The introduction of the aisle comes amid growing concerns about the impact of plastic packaging on the environment.

Ekoplaza, which opened Wednesday, says it is the first of its kind to feature such an aisle. Products are packed in biodegradable packaging as well as glass. Some products are encased in a material that looks like plastic but is actually a biofilm that breaks down in a home composters in about 12 weeks.

This week saw the opening of a unique store in the Netherlands where items on its aisles are completely free from plastic packaging.

"There is absolutely no logic in wrapping something as fleeting as food in something as indestructible as plastic", she said in a statement.

"For decades shoppers have been sold the lie that we can't live without plastic in food and drink", Sutherland said in the statement. "Our biggest supermarkets must introduce plastic-free aisles urgently".

Sutherland said campaigners were in ongoing talks with all the major United Kingdom supermarkets but, so far, none have committed to introducing a plastic-free aisle. In place of conventional plastics that remain on the earth for centuries after they have come to the end of their useful lives, Plastic Free Aisles showcase compostable biomaterials that nature can easily process following human use.

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As part of her government's 25-year plan for reducing waste and tackling climate change, May pledged to eliminate all "avoidable" plastic waste by 2042. The company uses mainly Dutch suppliers such as Do-It - a large importer of rice and wheat - who provide cartons without plastic tape.

A Plastic Free Aisle makes ideal sense for supermarkets battling for market share in a hyper-competitive trading environment.

Made Thought has created the logo and campaign for Plastic Free Aisle, an initiative launched in collaboration with environmental charity A Plastic Planet and Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza.

Plastic packaging has become so widespread as a result of its convenience and qualities of hygiene. Last month Iceland committed to eliminating plastic from its own-brand products by 2023, while ASDA, where I was CEO from 2010 to 2016, pledged to scrap single-use plastic carrier bags by the end of this year. "Finally we can see a future where the public have a choice about whether to buy plastic or plastic-free".

Devised in tandem with design studio Made Thought and environmental campaigners A Plastic Planet, the novel approach has grouped together over 700 plastic-free products for the first time to enable shoppers to more easily salve their consciences.

Dutch retailer launches plastic-free aisle