A new mark on grocery packaging will alert shoppers that a product has no hidden plastic in it. Environmental group A Plastic Planet have created a world first–an innovative ‘Plastic-Free Trust Mark’–which helps consumers know which products are packaged entirely without plastic. The plastic-free label will help time-strapped shoppers make more discerning choices in the food aisles.
With plastic so widespread today, it’s virtually impossible to purchase anything without some plastic in it. Plastic and microplastics are hidden in clothing microfibres, sea salt, tap water, and even in the humble little teabag. In the quest to be more environmentally aware, many of us avoid plastic packaging, but are oblivious to the hidden plastic in the items we purchase. This new label could radically change the face of plastic packaging.
A Plastic Planet co-founder, Sian Sutherland, said this new label will support conscious choices.
Now we all know the damage our addiction to plastic has caused, we want to do the right thing and buy plastic-free. But it is harder than you think and a clear no-nonsense label is much needed.
She goes on to emphasise how it will be a great help for consumers wanting to buy plastic-free and halt the damage caused by plastic to our planet.
Our Trust Mark cuts through the confusion of symbols and labels and tells you just one thing—this packaging is plastic-free and therefore guilt-free. Finally shoppers can be part of the solution, not the problem.
Designed to sit prominently on the front of packaging to help shoppers see at a glance whether products use plastic in their packaging, the new mark helps shoppers make greener choices. Introduced this month, the new stamp has already been taken up by UK supermarket chain Iceland Foods, Dutch grocer Ekoplaza and tea brand Teapigs.
Iceland has pledged to remove single-use plastic packaging from its own in-house brand products by 2023 and will phase in the new plastic label products. According to Iceland managing director, the grocery retail sector accounts for over 40 percent of plastic packaging in the UK. The Trust Mark-accredited packaging will use materials such as carton board, wood pulp, glass, metal and certified-compostable bio-materials in place of plastic, which will go a long way in helping to stem the tide of plastic waste.
Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza is using the Trust Mark across 74 outlets around the Netherlands and aims to have each store representing the mark and featuring it on selected Ekoplaza own brand products by the end of the year.
A Plastic Planet is also calling for plastic-free aisles in supermarkets, with the Dutch chain Ekoplaza, being the first in the world to introduce one.
A Simple Step Towards a Cleaner Ocean
The plastic-free mark is an attempt at halting the enormous amounts of plastic from entering the ocean. Each year we produce over 300 million tons of plastic globally, and an incredible 10 per cent of this ends up in the sea, and less than 10 per cent is recycled. Plastic is filling our oceans, clogging our rivers, and littering our landscapes, while plastic fibres are poisoning marine life and humans. Studies have found that 94 percent of our drinking water and 93 percent of sampled bottled water worldwide are full of plastic particles and chemicals, many of which are linked to cancer, premature puberty, reduced immunity, birth defects, endocrine disruption, insulin resistance, and other major diseases.
The growing awareness around the problem of plastics and innovative solutions to combat this massive environmental problem is heartening. The new trust mark will be a boon for shoppers trying to do the right thing, and now you’ll be able to enjoy your cup of tea guilt-free and purchase grocery items without contributing to the environmental destruction of the planet.