Germany retailer Edeka has stated that more than half of the products in its fruit and vegetable department are now free of plastic packaging. The findings resulted from a market check by Verbraucherzentrale Hamburg (Consumer Centre Hamburg) and the Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (VZBV), who looked at plastic usage in the fresh produce assortment of the largest food retailers.
The German industry average for plastic packaging usage in the fruit and vegetable department is around two-thirds. "These findings are a confirmation of our efforts to avoid or reduce packaging and an incentive to consistently pursue this path," said Markus Mosa, CEO of Edeka AG. The retailer has been working on packaging reduction for many years now, supported by the WWF.
As well as avoidance and reduction, Edeka has focused on reusable solutions, recycled material and recyclability.
Selected fruits and vegetables are labelled via 'smart branding', a laser inscription that can save 50 tonnes of plastic per year. In addition, the number of knot bags has been reduced by around 95 million units over the past three years.
According to esmmagazine.com¸ Edeka has also succeeded in reducing or eliminating plastic across its proprietary brands, for example around PET water bottles, fresh counters and disposable tableware.