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Dutch supermarket launches plastic-free aisles

All Ekoplaza stores will have a plastic-free aisle by the end of the year. Credit: PA

An Amsterdam supermarket is installing a plastic-free aisle as campaigners call for a similar concepts to be used in the UK.

Chain Ekoplaza will sell 700 separate items on this aisle at a new store in the Dutch city. Products such as meat, rice, sauces, dairy, chocolate, cereals, fruit and vegetables will be available to shoppers.

The idea was formed by environmental group A Plastic Planet, who says this is a landmark moment in the fight against plastic pollution.

Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, wants British retailers to copy the example shown by their Dutch counterparts.

Prime Minister Theresa May has recently announced plans to combat plastic waster in a 25-year environment plan, which includes encouraging plastic-free supermarket aisles.

Iceland, the supermarket, has promised to go plastic-free on all its own-brand products by 2023.

Ekoplaza says it will have a plastic-free aisle in all of its 74 stores across the Netherlands by the end of 2018.

Plastics pollution is a serious issue. Credit: PA

Ms Sutherland said: "The introduction of the world's first plastic-free aisle represents a landmark moment for the global fight against plastic pollution.

"For decades shoppers have been sold the lie that we can't live without plastic in food and drink. A plastic-free aisle dispels all that.

"Finally we can see a future where the public have a choice about whether to buy plastic or plastic-free. Right now we have no choice.

"There is absolutely no logic in wrapping something as fleeting as food in something as indestructible as plastic.

"Plastic food and drink packaging remains useful for a matter of days yet remains a destructive presence on the earth for centuries afterwards."

And she said: "Ekoplaza has set an example that the UK's supermarkets must follow at the earliest opportunity. Our biggest supermarkets must introduce plastic-free aisles urgently."

Ekoplaza chief executive Erik Does said: "We know that our customers are sick to death of products laden in layer after layer of thick plastic packaging. "Plastic-free aisles are a really innovative way of testing the compostable biomaterials that offer a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic pac