Keeping in mind my last two posts mentioning plastic waste, when I read a Guardian article today titled ‘Swedish Supermarkets Replace Sticky Labels With Ease Marking‘ my heart leapt with joy!
Whilst keeping conscious of the waste involved from the items I take home, I have found it frustrating that seemingly waste-free options (like bananas out of plastic wrap) may still have an element of plastic attached. I’m of course talking about the tiny labels which stick on fruit and vegetables that often hold a barcode.
A Swedish supermarket has begun to use lasers to mark their avocados and sweet potatoes, whilst M&S in the UK already use it on coconuts. Not only does this method save on waste from labelling, albeit smaller than plastic wrap (but it all mounts up), it also delivers in terms of carbon emissions which are reportedly a tiny 1% compared to traditional sticky labels.
Hopefully the power of the laser will prevail over the redundant nature of those sticky labels; you have to type in the quantity of the item on the self checkout most of the time anyway!
Although this is a small start it’s great to know there is an alternative out there which is gaining support from large supermarket chains. M&S is one of the most ethical supermarkets in the UK and aims to be the worlds most sustainable retailer. If they make this new technology a success then hopefully other large companies can follow suit.