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"Food in the nude" ("Naked food") is the campaign that aims to eliminate plastic packaging in fresh food from New Zealand supermarkets.
Food producers signed a declaration in which they undertake to eliminate plastic packaging, and in the event of a need for wrapping, that these, along with the labels 100%
reusable, recyclable or compostable before 2025.
In supermarkets that have already begun to market vegetables without plastic packaging, sales have increased considerably.
One of the supermarket chains that joined the campaign
"Naked food" It has already eliminated the packaging for almost all of its fruits and vegetables and has incorporated recyclable trays. This translates to 800 million fewer trays per year that end up in the trash.
Nigel Bond, owner of one of the supermarkets, says his new shelving system reminded him when he was a child that he would go to the greengrocer with his father and one could smell fresh citrus fruits and onions. Currently, by wrapping products in plastic we disinfect them and deprive people of this olfactory experience.
"When you take on these projects, they can be a disaster and lead to customer rejection, but in my 30 years in the supermarket industry, this simple change has resulted in the most positive customer response I've ever received."says Bond.
“At that time we noticed that an increasing amount of fresh produce was being shipped in plastic wrap. We thought this was crazy and promised to do something about it. "says Bond who, along with the store's manager, Gary May, first came up with the idea more than two years ago.
Bond first began by talking to producers and suppliers, who were happy to accept the idea of discarding the use of plastic in packaging.
“I went on a study trip to the United States and saw what the Whole Foods supermarket chain is doing there. They have a great variety of fresh foods and their commercialization is almost an art form "adds Bond.
A new cooling shelving system was installed there to display fresh fruit and vegetables along with a process known as "fogging" to help keep items cool.
"Vegetables are 90% water and studies have shown that fogged products not only look better, retain their color and texture, but also have a higher vitamin content". We also installed a reverse osmosis system that treats the water by removing 99% of all bacteria and chlorine, so we are confident that the water being sprayed is still pure, ”says Bond.
The owner also maintains that some products, such as berries, grapes and some tomatoes, still come in plastic containers, while mushrooms are packed in cardboard trays. Most of this packaging is, however, recyclable.
Add thatFoodstuffs It is also testing paper alternatives to paper seafood bags and fiber-based deli trays.
ThePlastic Packaging Declaration New Zealand's commitment to making all store packaging and labels 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
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