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This London supermarket is among the first in the world to introduce plastic-free zones

Lucy Lovell

As the global war on plastic gathers momentum, a north London supermarket has become among the first in the world to introduce plastic-free zones in an effort to make ethical shopping easier. 

Thornton’s Budgens store, which is based in Belsize Park, has ditched the plastic used for over 1,800 items, replacing the product with more environmentally friendly options.

The entire transformation took less than ten weeks, and the team celebrated their new look with a launch do at their store this week. Working together with the campaign group A Plastic Planet, Budgens now uses products like beechwood netting to wrap fruit, glass bottles for milk, and wax paper for fish and cheese. 

But the team don’t want to stop there: founder Andrew Thornton is now challenging the supermarket giants to follow suit. 

Thornton said: ‘Our aim is to show the big supermarkets that it is not as difficult to go plastic-free as they think. If we with our limited resources in ten weeks can introduce more than a thousand plastic-free products just imagine what the major chains could achieve.’ 

Plastic free shopping at Thornton’s Budgens

Photograph: Made Thought

‘The issue of plastic is one that can no longer be ignored so we’ve chosen to be the first mainstream supermarket in the UK to introduce plastic-free zones. This means our customers will be able to do a comprehensive shop without the need to use any plastic packaging.’

It looks like the ethical weekly shop is slowly getting easier – let’s hope more supermarkets will say ‘that’s a wrap’ on plastic. 

Looking for more sustainable shopping options? Check out our sustainable living guide here

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