Swedish supermarket finds laser alternative for Sticky labels on fresh produce

In a move to save plastic and reduce carbon emission, Swedish supermarket ICA has decided to take out sticky labels used in fruits and vegetables and replace them with hi-tech natural branding using laser technology. ICA has teamed up with Dutch fruit and vegetable supplier Nature & More for conducting this trial run, through which customers buying organic avocados, sweet potatoes and coconuts would receive them with laser marking instead of sticky labels.

Spanish firm Laser food, which is behind this innovative packaging claimed that the new method could reduce carbon emission by around one percent. They added that this technology can make a a “significant reduction in the amount of paper, ink, glue.”

Peter Hagg, ICA business unit manager says: “By using natural branding on all the organic avocados we would sell in one year we will save 200km (135 miles) of plastic 30cm wide. It’s small but I think it adds up. Organic sales are driven by environmental awareness, like climate change and belief in health benefits. Younger shoppers also choose products depending on the environmental impact of the packaging. And we know that this will be very important in coming years. This is a solution that permanently marks the skin of the product, so it’s better from a sustainability perspective, but also avoids the problem of stickers falling off.”

Michaël Wilde, sustainability and communications manager at Nature & More adds up: “Up to now, no one has used this technique with the specific aim of cutting packaging. It was used for novelty – which is nice, but a gimmick at Easter or Christmas isn’t going to pay off. What we are saying is, by buying this product you’re saving plastic.”