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Packaging And Design

Dutch Retailer Plus Intensifies Its Fight Against Plastic

Dutch retailer Plus has announced a series of measures to fight  plastic pollution more efficiently, as well as increase plastic recycling.

The retailer noted that it reviewed 4,500 of its private-brand products before making the recommendations to its plastic suppliers and the plastic industry at large.

Replacement of Single-Use Plastic

Plus notably made an appeal to suppliers to provide good alternatives to single-use plastic, especially cutlery, cups and plates, which experience a seasonal growth in the summer. Plus aims to provide such alternatives by the summer of 2019.

Of the 4,500 products reviewed, about 200 use black plastic. Black plastic creates a little-known issue in the recycling process because plastic items are sorted by optical scanners, which use the reflection of light to identify different types of plastics.  The black pigment in trays used for ready meals, for instance, means the machines can't recognise the type of plastic properly. As such, black plastic isn't recycled and often ends up in landfills.

Plus said that the 200 products which use black plastic will be halved by the end of 2018, but added that it intends to stop selling products in black plastic by the end of 2019.

Packaging Alternatives

The retailer indicated it is making changes to the way its products are sold, by reducing the amount of plastic used to package fruits and vegetables, for example . The company will also be changing the colour of the bottle caps and using paper labels instead of plastic on its orange juice bottles, in a bid to make recycling easier.

Plus noted that in 2018, all of its 4,500 private-label products will be tested with alternative packaging, using minimised, reusable, and recyclable packaging.

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Matthieu Chassain. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine

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