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Technology

Germany's Edeka Launches Laser Labelling To Reduce Plastic Use

German retailer Edeka has announced that it will now use laser labelling as a way to mark organic fruits and vegetables, instead of using plastic labels or film.

According to the retailer, this 'smart branding' will mean that it can save up to 50 million plastic labels and pieces of film, which amount to about 50 tonnes of packaging material.

The retailer said that it has already eliminated plastic packaging from its fruits and vegetables whenever possible, but this new initiative allows it to do away with labels.

The font and logo are applied to the fruit with a high-resolution laser. This means that only pigments on the outer peel are removed, which means the fruit is not damaged in any way. Its taste, durability and appearance remain unchanged, according to Edeka.

Improving Product Sustainability

Speaking about the new move, Rolf Lange, head of corporate communications at Edeka, said, "Smart branding is an environmentally friendly way of labelling because no other packaging materials are needed."

For Lange, it's yet another way to improve product sustainability, adding, "This pays off on our objective to avoid packaging in our own-brands as much as possible, or to make it ecologically more meaningful."

The labelling project was launched as part of the partnership for sustainability by Edeka and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The environmental NGO has been advising Edeka on a scientific basis on various environmental topics and range of products since they entered into a partnership in 2009.

Edeka isn't the first European retailer to trial such laser labelling. In June, Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo introduced laser labelling on some of its organic fruit and vegetables, eliminating the need for packaging. Marks & Spencer also launched laser labels on avocados in mid-2017.

© 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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