First Plastic-free Supermarket Aisle

First Plastic-free Supermarket Aisle

World's first plastic-free supermarket aisle debuts as momentum builds to reduce waste

Posted on 09.03.2018

The world’s first plastic-free supermarket aisle was unveiled in Amsterdam today as pressure to curb the world’s plastic binge and its devastating impact on the planet continues to grow.

With nearly 700 plastic-free goods to select from at one of the branches of Ekoplaza, a Dutch supermarket chain, the aisle gives shoppers the opportunity to buy their groceries in “new compostable bio-materials as well as traditional materials” such as glass, metal and cardboard.

Sian Sutherland, co-founder of the environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet, which advocates for a plastic-free aisle in every supermarket, says the aisle is “a symbol of what the future of food retailing will be” and hopes it has a knock-on effect.

Sutherland says she recognizes that transitioning from plastic to other materials requires a monumental shift from big retailers, but that not acknowledging the need for change is no longer acceptable.

“We totally understand what we’re asking for is highly inconvenient — it’s difficult,” she says. “However, it’s indefensible for us to continue to wrap up our perishable food and drink in this indestructible material of plastic. So everybody knows now that progress has to be made.”

Ekoplaza, which has 74 stores across the Netherlands, says it will roll out the aisle across all branches as soon as possible.

Plastic is a constant presence in our lives wherever we go; it’s hard to imagine life without it. But the planet is paying a high price for our throwaway culture. From water bottles to disposable coffee cups, items that we use for just a few minutes can take up to centuries to decompose.

“Paper, card, wood pulp, grass, glass, tin, not plastic lined, aluminum. There’s so many other materials. There won’t be one thing that directly replaces plastic, it will be a plethora of things”





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