London supermarket launches plastic-free zones

London supermarket launches plastic-free zonesA London supermarket has become the latest retailer to introduce dedicated plastic-free zones.

The Thornton’s Budgens store in Camden’s Belsize Park has assembled more than 1,700 plastic-free products, featuring everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to wild game meat.

The zones will see products packaged in alternative materials to plastic in a bid to change the way we package fresh food. Materials used include beechwood nets, pulp, paper, metal, glass, cellulose and cartonboard.

Signage and eye-catching plastic-free branding designed by London studio Made Thought will tell shoppers about the alternative packaging and help them to make plastic-free choices.

Commenting on announcement, Andrew Thornton, Thornton’s Budgens Founder, said: “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 in 10 weeks can introduce more than a thousand plastic-free products just imagine what the major chains could achieve.”

Sian Sutherland, Co-founder of the anti-plastic campaign group A Plastic Planet, added: “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.” 

Thornton’s Budgens joins other stores that are starting to make the move towards plastic-free shopping. In February, Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza launched a plastic-free aisle in one of its Amsterdam stores with the help of A Plastic Planet, before rolling out 1,370 plastic-free products across its 74 Dutch branches and taking a mobile version of the aisle across Europe to spread the word. A smaller version of the aisle also appeared at the Packaging Innovations 2018 conference in London this September.

Meanwhile, a new entirely plastic-free store was opened in Glasgow in May, offering a range of products, including household cleaning products, free from plastic packaging.

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