A Plastic-Free Aisle is being recreated at the Packaging Innovations 2018 conference in London today, as environmental group A Plastic Planet looks to spark a shift toward plastic-free shopping across the UK and Europe.
The aisle will be stocked with everyday items, including tea, coffee, chocolate, dairy, bread and meat packaged in innovative non-plastic materials, including wood, cellulose and plant pulp, compostable materials and traditional materials like glass, metal and cardboard.
The products will bear A Plastic Planet’s Plastic Free Consumer Trust mark, which was adopted by supermarket chains Iceland and Ekoplaza earlier this year and is now set to be taken on by global brands.
“Showcasing the aisle here in London is another step in proving to major brands that plastic-free packaging is possible and it is time they showed leadership in being part of the solution rather than part of the problem,” said Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet.
“So much of the debate on plastic pollution scandalously blames the consumer for buying food and drink products laden in plastic,” she explained. “The reality is that shoppers buy what they are sold. Despite the fact the public have been highly vocal about wanting to change, they are still given little choice. Almost all retailers continue to use indestructible plastic packaging; useful for days, lasting for centuries. A Plastic Free Aisle changes all that.”
“40 percent of all plastic is used just for packaging,” said Sutherland. “Reducing this will have a massively positive impact on our oceans, our soil and on the health of future generations. We implore industry to wake up, acknowledge that recycling isn’t the answer and start to turn off the plastic tap.”