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A supermarket in the Netherlands has recently created and launched the world’s first plastic-free aisle.
Supermarket chain Ekoplaza has broken new ground in the fight against plastic pollution by putting up a plastic-free aisle in one of its stores in Amsterdam, the Netherlands’ capital. The packaging of around 700 products in the said aisle is made of compostable materials, glasses, cardboard, and the like. Ekoplaza plans to have a plastic-free aisle in its 74 branches within this year.
Ekoplaza’s initiative is part of A Plastic-Free Aisle campaign, which was originated by the environmental group named A Plastic Planet. With this campaign, A Plastic Planet hopes to lessen plastic usage and its impact on the environment. The group also hopes that other supermarkets will follow suit.
Another supermarket chain is also taking steps to reduce the amount of plastic waste it generates. Iceland, a British supermarket, plans to eliminate the use of plastic packaging in its own products by the end of 2023. Instead of plastic, the company will use paper-based packaging for products like ready-to-eat meals and fruits.
Initiatives to reduce plastic production are important because the amount of plastic waste worldwide is continuously increasing. To make matters worse, plastic takes over 400 years to naturally decompose.
According to a study published in the journal Science Advances in 2017, the world has accumulated a total of 6,300 metric tons of plastic waste as of 2015. Of this amount, only 9% was recycled, 12% was incinerated, and 79% was left unprocessed in landfills and other places.