Published on August 22nd, 2018 | by Sam Rose

Trust in the Plastic Free Mark

Noticed a new symbol on some packaging during your latest supermarket trip? Here’s what the Plastic Free Mark means.

Introduced in May this year, the Plastic Free Mark is now making an appearance on food and drink packaging, with several retailers and supermarkets involving themselves with the new labelling system. The symbol allows a better understanding of whether certain products use plastic within their packaging and their design makes them easy to spot from the aisles. So why is the Plastic Free Mark important?

The Impact of Plastic

A familiar and regularly used material, plastic has been a hot topic as of late. The regular use of plastic in packaging has raised concerns regarding the harmful effects it can have on the oceans, wildlife and even on our bodies. Pollution caused by plastic has now become widespread due to our reliance on it over the years. Recent studies and tests show that plastic and plastic parts have even been found in our tap water, inside fish and in sea salt. With the known and unknown dangerous effects plastic is having on our health and in the environment, several initiatives and campaigns are now ongoing to cut down on our use of it.

Plastic Bottles

Creation of the Plastic Free Mark

With much of the world’s plastic being used for food and drinks packaging, campaign group A Plastic Planet have created the Plastic Free Mark. The new labelling symbol has been adopted by several supermarkets over the past few months including Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Aldi, Iceland and Waitrose. It’s hoped that the new symbol will better inform customers to make more conscious decisions when making a purchase of items that use plastic packaging. A wide selection of everyday products ranging from tea bags to tins of pet food all contain some amount of plastic in their packaging. With plastic now becoming more of a threat than was first imagined, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, Sian Sutherland, hopes the new system will lead to a radical reduction in plastic waste.

“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”

Plastic Free Mark

Supermarkets Prepared to go Plastic Free

A report from the Guardian earlier this year revealed that Britain’s supermarkets are responsible for producing up to 1 million tonnes of plastic waste on a yearly basis. In response to the findings, many supermarket chains have been working with A Plastic Planet to begin introducing plastic free aisles along with producing new solutions to try and tackle the problem head on. Commenting on their own-label packaging including the new Plastic Free Mark, Iceland’s Managing Director, Richard Walker, is happy that Iceland amongst others, are taking a lead on the issue.

“With the grocery retail sector accounting for more than 40% of plastic packaging in the UK, it’s high time that Britain’s supermarkets came together to take a lead on this issue. I’m proud to lead a supermarket that is working with A Plastic Planet to realise a plastic-free future for food and drink retail.”

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