Here’s one for you. What’s green and shiny and hard? An avocado with a tattoo. Well, not a tattoo exactly, but an increasing quantity of fresh produce is appearing on supermarket shelves bearing laser-etched labeling. Known as ‘natural branding’, this method of marking fruit and veg has been introduced as a sustainable alternative to the familiar sticky labels.
With a growing pressure from consumers for supermarkets to reduce packaging, laser marking is a small but significant step forward. The technology actually generates only 1% of the carbon emissions needed to produce a similar sized sticker.
The technique is being trialled by European suppliers and supermarkets like Nature & More in the Netherlands and ICA in Sweden. Meanwhile in the UK, Marks & Spencer will soon begin zapping its coconuts in the interests of sustainability.
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