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CLIMATE ACTION PROGRAMME

1 March 2018

World’s first plastic-free supermarket aisle opens in Amsterdam

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

The new pilot store will stock over 700 plastic-free products; a symbolic step towards reducing dependence on the damaging material.

The move is the result of a campaign from UK-based charity A Plastic Planet, which works to persuade supermarkets to lessen the amount of plastic they use to stock everyday food items.

Ekoplaza, the Dutch supermarket, was an enthusiastic backer of the project and plans to introduce plastic-free aisles at all its 74 branches by the end of this year. A second store in the country’s capital The Hague is expected by June.

Ekoplaza chief executive’s, Erik Does, commented: “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.”

Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, said the opening was “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.”

Writing in The Ecologist magazine, she also called on the UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, to make good on her promise in January to work with Britain’s largest supermarkets to introduce plastic-free aisles.

“UK supermarkets are now waking up to the environmental crisis that plastic has created, but have misplaced confidence in recycling as an answer to the problem”, she concluded.

 

Photo Credit: A Plastic Planet

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