Make a list of 5 of your favorite snacks that can be found at your local store. Which ones come in plastic packaging? Most likely all of them! Plastic is used so often because it's cheap to produce and has a lot of helpful qualities. In fact, humans have produced over 8 billion tons of plastic since the 1950s. That's enough plastic to equal the weight of one billion elephants! Unfortunately all that plastic is polluting our environment. Plastic can take up to 1,000 years to break down, and most of it ends up in landfills or the environment. Stores contribute to a lot of this waste, because they produce 40% of all plastic packaging. The organization A Plastic Planet noticed this problem and worked to create the world's first plastic-free supermarket aisle!
The organization is partnering with Ekoplaza, a Dutch supermarket chain, to create this plastic-free shopping experience. The aisle will have over 700 products, including meat, rice, sauces, dairy, chocolate, cereals, yogurt, snacks, fresh fruit, and vegetables. The company is testing out new packaging materials that take less time to break down, which is better for the environment. Luckily these new materials won't be anymore expensive than the plastic wrap we're used to. The first plastic-free aisle will open in Amsterdam, but they're hoping to extend the program to all 74 of their store locations by the end of the year!
How would you reduce plastic pollution in your neighborhood? Show us your ideas in the design section!