The world’s first Plastic Free Trust Mark has been launched by environmental campaign group, A Plastic Planet, in a move it says could revolutionise how shoppers buy their food and drink.
The Trust Mark will be awarded to food and drink products that are packaged without plastic. Designed to sit clearly on the front of a pack, the Trust Mark’s objective is to instantly inform and empower consumers to make plastic-free choices.
The group hopes the move will lead to a radical reduction in the amount of single-use plastic packaging food and drinks.
Early adoptees of the Trust Mark include UK supermarket giant Iceland, Dutch retailer Ekoplaza and pioneering tea brand teapigs.
Iceland is adopting the Trust Mark on relevant own-label products initially then rolling out progressively across its range in its bid 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.
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 Trust Mark will also be appearing on branded products such as the plastic-free teapigs packaging in stores across the UK.
Trust Mark-accredited packaging will include materials such as carton board, wood pulp, glass, metal and certified-compostable biomaterials.
A Plastic Planet Co-Founder Sian Sutherland said: ““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.”
Britain’s supermarkets should be coming together to reduce plastic packaging in the grocery retail sector, which accounts for more than 40% of plastic packaging in the UK, according to Iceland Managing Director Richard Walker.
He said: “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.”
Ekoplaza CEO Erik Does said: “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.”
teapigs Co-Founder Louise Cheadle said: “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.”