Starting mid-April, customers at Albert Heijn will be informed that there will soon be no more free plastic bags in the fresh produce section, the ANP reports.
For the first two weeks, free reusable bags will be handed out along with the purchase of loose fruits and vegetables, such as green beans and apples. The bags can be washed and reused dozens of times. Currently, sustainable bags can be found in the fruit aisle at the cost of 30 cents. By the end of 2021, Albert Heijns aims to completely remove plastic bags from all stores.
According to the grocer, cutting out plastic bags will save about 243 tons of plastic that would have gone to the production of 130 million bags annually. Albert Heijn´s general manager, Marit van Egmond, said the supermarket chain has already saved millions of kilos of packaging material in recent years. “We keep looking at whether it is possible to use less. From meal and lunch salads in a thinner bowl and thinner soft drink bottle to completely unpacked fruit and vegetables”, she said.
Other grocery stores have also put in effort to reduce the amount of plastic used. Jumbo, for example, recently announced that it would from now on put minced meat in a plastic bag instead of a plastic dish which would greatly limit how much plastic is needed for packaging. PLUS has also dropped the use of double plastic lids for nuts.