UK retailer Thornton’s Budgens today introduced dedicated Plastic Free Zones in its Camden Belsize Park store in London, becoming the first supermarket in the country to do so.
The store offers more than 1,700 plastic-free products, from fresh fruit and vegetables to wild game meat including squirrel.
The Plastic Free Zones showcase a wide range of innovative plastic-free materials, including beachwood nets, pulp, paper, metal, glass, cellulose and cardboard.
The zones are adorned with plastic-free branding created by London design studio Made Thought, while “shelf talkers” inform shoppers about the concept and the different plastic-free packaging used.
Plastic Free Zones are the brainchild of campaign group A Plastic Planet, which has called for the transformation of the UK’s approach to waste management, recommending a plastics tax to fund national infrastructure for recycling and composting.
Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet , commented: “Plastic is totally nuts. Thornton’s Budgens are disrupting the market and showing that wrapping something as fleeting as food in something as long-lasting as plastic is the definition of madness.
“In just 10 weeks the store has removed plastic packaging from more than 1,500 products, finally giving their customers the choice they want. While big retailers claim it will take 10 years to create real plastic-free change, Thornton’s Budgens has shown that we can start to wean ourselves off plastic in 10 weeks.”
Andrew Thornton, founder of Thornton’s Budgens, added: “As the community supermarket that really cares, we believe in taking a strong stance on major issues that affect our wellbeing and our planet.
"The issue of plastic is one that can no longer be ignored so we’ve chosen to be the first mainstream supermarket in the UK to introduce Plastic Free Zones. This means our customers will be able to do a comprehensive shop without the need to use any plastic packaging.
“Our aim is to show the big supermarkets that it is not as difficult to go plastic-free as they think. If we with our limited resources can introduce more than a thousand plastic-free products in 10 weeks, just imagine what the major chains could achieve.”