Dutch fruit and vegetable supplier Nature & More and Swedish supermarket ICA partnered to replace sticky labels on organic products with a laser mark.
The technique, developed by the Spanish company Laser Food, uses a strong light to remove pigment from the skin of produce. The mark is invisible once the skin is removed and doesn’t affect shelf life or eating quality. The cost of a laser machine is considerable, but this technique is significantly more cost-effective than stickers after this initial investment.
For now, ICA is only targeting organic products because environmental awareness heavily drives organic sales. However, the stakeholders hope to expand it to other products to scale this innovation’s environmental impact.
Why does it matter? By using this laser technique on organic avocados only, ICA will save 200km of 30cm-wide plastic each year! Moreover, it generates less than 1% of the carbon emissions needed to produce stickers.
Given the million stickers used worldwide every day, this innovative technology could reduce the usage of paper, ink and glue while cutting greenhouse gas emissions significantly.