Do you ever ask yourself why the cucumber you buy in the supermarket is wrapped with plastic foil? Well, we do too! Most of the vegetables and fruits are perfectly protected by their natural layer of skin. In a lot of cases the plastic packaging is only used because the product needs a label and barcode.
In response to consumers demand for less plastic, several European supermarkets and fruit suppliers have now started to replace plastic covers and sticky labels with a laser mark that tells information about the product.
According to the motto “The most sustainable packaging is not packaging”EDEKA, the biggest German supermarket group, has now introduced a so-called bio-labeling, and the first products to be tested are sweet potatoes and mangos.
The natural label doesn’t require any form of chemical materials, only light. A bundled beam of light removes the pigments in the outermost layer of the peel, providing the fruit with a bio-seal that works without any paper or ink.
The food retailer’s states that with this new smart branding they can save up to 50 million plastic labels and pieces of film, which is about 50 tones of packaging material. EDEKA mentioned that they already have eliminated plastic packaging from several products, but this new alternatives allow them to go even further.
The smart branding is approved by all food safety authorities and there is a lot more fruits and veggies suitable for the environmentally friendly light label. The new project to label products was created through a partnership by EDEKA and WWF (World Wildlife Fund), who also assist and guide the Supermarket group on various environmental topics since they started their partnership in 2009.