Tackling the Plastic Problem, One Supermarket Aisle at a Time

Plastic may be cheap and convenient, but there is mounting evidence that it is killing the planet and all the inhabitants on it. According to Ecowatch, today there are 500 times more pieces of microplastic in the sea than there are stars in our galaxy. By 2050, it is estimated that there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times. Plastic constitutes about 90 percent of the trash floating on the ocean’s surface. One million seabirds and over 100,000 marine mammals are killed each year from plastics in the ocean. Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by humans too – 93 percent of Americans age 6 and older test positive for BPA, a harmful hormone-altering plastic chemical. Some retailers are not giving up in despair, but are addressing the disposable plastics problem one aisle at a time.

In February,the world’s first plastic-free supermarket aisle was launched in Amsterdam in collaboration with environmental activists, A Plastic Planet, and Dutch supermarket, Ekoplaza. The aisle features 700 everyday products that are free of plastic packaging. By the end of the year, Ekoplaza plans to open plastic-free aisles in each of its 74 stores across the Netherlands. We applaud the effort. It has never made sense that a head of lettuce or tomato that will rot within a week, should be packaged in plastic wrap takes 500 to 1000 years to degrade.