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First plastic-free supermarket aisle unveiled

February 27, 2018

More than 700 products will be available without plastic packaging at Dutch chain Ekoplaza, including meat, rice, sauces, dairy, chocolate, cereals, fruit and vegetables.

Environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet, which has been promoting the idea, said the aisle was a “landmark moment” in the global fight against plastic pollution.

The group’s co-founder Sian Sutherland called for British supermarkets to follow Ekoplaza’s lead.

“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,” she said.

“Plastic food and drink packaging remains useful for a matter of days yet remains a destructive presence on the earth for centuries afterwards.”

A video shared to Facebook on February 16 shows a manta ray feeding among pieces of trash at Manta Point in Bali. The video, shared by Australian woman Lauren Jubb, shows the sea creature weaving in and out of plastic bags, wrappers and other pieces of debris in search of food.

Video:Manta Ray filmed swimming through plastic

Ekoplaza will roll out plastic-free aisles across its 74 branches in the Netherlands by the end of this year.

The aisle will be used to test out new compostable bio-materials, as well as using traditional materials including glass, metal and cardboard.

Ekoplaza chief executive Erik Does said: “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.”

Surfers Against Sewage are campaigning to reduce plastic waste on our beaches

Video:Sky’s Ocean Rescue: One year on

Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign has been encouraging people to reduce their consumption of single-use plastics, which pollute the oceans and harm and kill wildlife.

Prime Minister Theresa May outlined measures to tackle plastic waste in her Government’s 25-year environment plan, including encouraging plastic-free supermarket aisles.

Supermarket chain Iceland has pledged to go plastic-free on all its own-brand packaging by 2023.

A survey for A Plastic Planet revealed last year that more than nine out of 10 British shoppers support the introduction of an aisle in supermarkets that has products free of plastic packaging.