The Dutch chain Ekoplaza has just launched Europe’s first plastic-free supermarket aisle. Shoppers can choose from more than 700 products wrapped in biodegradable materials that look similar to plastic at no extra cost. This initiative comes at a time when the debate around reducing plastic waste from supermarkets and manufacturers is experiencing a new push, with initiatives such as the LADbible Trash Isles and the U.K. government putting the reduction of plastic waste at the heart of its environmental plan.
24% of Britons express “extreme” concern about plastic packaging in grocery stores and 42% want food and drink manufacturers to make recyclable packaging their top priority. What so far has been an issue for a niche audience of committed environmentalists has grown to become a concern for the mainstream shopper. Fueled by small “zero-waste” or “plastic-free” stores popping up all around the U.K. and the fact that recent findings revealed that U.K. supermarkets produce around 1 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, the issue has slowly been picked up by brands.