According to media reports, Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn, which is part of the Ahold group, has begun selling a range of vegetable products in loose format only in an effort to reduce plastic packaging.
Initially targeting crops such as carrots, cabbage, runner beans and turnips, the retailer said that the new rules would apply to certain locally sourced lines when in season, such as cucumbers. However, imported versions will still be wrapped.
“For customers, packaging sometimes seems unnecessary and environmentally unfriendly,” the supermarket said in a press release. “But they are necessary for their preservation and transportation of products. Good packaging also reduces wastage. We look at all packaging and the overall impact on the environment from raw material to waste.”
The company said that improved packaging design had already reduced plastic use by 75 per cent on some lines, such as green beans.
Ahold CEO Dick Boer added, “We want to bring our customers great value, high quality and affordable fresh products, and to do so in a responsible way. We cannot do this in isolation and will continue to work closely with our partners and stakeholders.”