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BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 19 May '18
World’s first Plastic Free Trust Mark launches in a landmark step for consumers
The world’s first Plastic Free Trust Mark has been launched in a move that could revolutionise how shoppers buy their food and drink.
The brainchild of environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet, the Trust Mark will be awarded to food and drink products that are packaged without plastic. Designed to sit clearly on the front of the pack, the Trust Mark will instantly inform and empower consumers to make plastic-free 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.
‘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.’
A Plastic Planet co-founder
Avoiding everyday plastics
Everyday items that consumers have recently learned contain plastic include tinned beans, teabags and glass bottle caps.
Campaigners say the move will lead to a radical reduction in the amount of single-use plastic packaging food and drinks.
Early adopters of A Plastic Planet’s Trust Mark include UK supermarket giant Iceland, Dutch retailer Ekoplaza and pioneering tea brand teapigs.
‘We’re really pleased to add A Plastic Planet’s Trust Mark to our packaging. A lot of tea drinkers have been surprised to learn that many teabags contain plastic. Our tea ‘temples’ have always been plastic free and our clear inner bags (that keep the tea nice and fresh) are made from Natureflex which looks like plastic but is made from wood pulp. The trust mark will make it easy for consumers to make the right plastic-free choices.’
Iceland will begin to adopt the Trust Mark on relevant own-label products this month, and roll it out across its range as it delivers its commitment to eliminate single-use plastic packaging of all Iceland own-label products by 2023.
The first products to feature the Trust Mark include Iceland’s own-brand eggs, cottage pie and vegetable burgers, delivering a reduction in plastic usage of over 600 tonnes per year.
Other Iceland own-label foods expected to switch to non-plastic packaging during summer 2018 will include soft fruit, mushrooms and potatoes.
The grocery retail sector accounts for more than 40% of plastic packaging in the UK.
Richard Walker, Iceland’s managing director, said that ‘it’s high time that Britain’s supermarkets came together to take a lead on this issue’.
Richard added that he’s ‘proud to lead a supermarket that is working with A Plastic Planet to realise a plastic-free future for food and drink retail.’
A plastic-free future
Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza is rolling out the Trust Mark across 74 outlets across the Netherlands with the aim to have each store representing the mark as well as featuring it on selected products of the Ekoplaza own brand by the end of the year.
In February this year A Plastic Planet unveiled the world’s first Plastic Free Aisle at an Ekoplaza store in Amsterdam. All products within the Plastic Free Aisle will now be carried in each of its 74 stores.
‘The future has to be plastic-free. We are proud to be a showcase for how we can dramatically reduce plastic for our customers. We want it, they
want it. Now the customer has the easy choice too. It’s fantastic that food manufacturers and retailers are coming together to create a better future for us all.’
Trust Mark-accredited packaging will include materials such as carton board, wood pulp, glass, metal and certified-compostable biomaterials.
A Plastic Planet’s expert Plastic Free Panel reviews all packaging under strict criteria; products must have a minimum of 99% plastic-free packaging to be considered eligible to carry the Plastic Free Trust Mark. The allowance of up to 1% plastic is to cover tiny amounts of plastics found in glues, labels and colourings.