19 March 2023, by Victoria Séveno

In an effort to reduce the amount of single-use plastic seen in Dutch supermarkets, this week one of the country’s major chains, Albert Heijn, announced it was gradually phasing out the use of plastic clips, and that the clasps used to close bread packaging would instead be replaced with ones made out of recyclable paper.

Dutch supermarkets trying to be more sustainable

The amount of unnecessary plastic packaging that is used in supermarkets is shocking to many. Regardless of what it is you’re looking to buy, chances are at least part of its packaging is made using plastic.

While some Dutch supermarkets are trying to implement small changes to help make a difference – in the last few years, some have stopped offering free plastic bags for fruit and vegetables, while others announced they’ll only sell free-range chicken – critics argue that progress has been fairly slow.

The latest step by Albert Heijn, one of the most high-profile supermarket chains in the Netherlands, is to swap out some plastic packaging elements for paper alternatives. This week, NU reported that the company was replacing so-called plastic bread clips – of which it uses 125 million a year! – with more sustainable alternatives made out of recyclable paper. 

AH to replace plastic clips with paper ones by summer 2023

The small square-shaped clips are used to fasten bags containing bread, buns and other baked goods, and help ensure the food stays fresh for as long as possible, but a spokesperson explained to NU that the clips are too small to recycle. By this summer, they’ll be completely replaced by small paper clips

Thumb: Francois Lariviere via Shutterstock.com.

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