Swedish supermarket ICA and Dutch fruit and veg supplier Nature & More are running a trial programme where sticky labels on food are replaced by laser marks.
Marks and Spenser in the UK are also already using the technology to mark their coconuts and have said they are planning to expand to other fruit and veg in the future.
The cost of the laser technology is outweighed by the removal of the reoccurring cost of the sticky labels that they are replacing. Overall, the process creates a significant reduction in waste from food packaging; Peter Hagg of ICA recently said:
“This is a solution that permanently marks the skin of the product, so it’s better from a sustainability perspective, but also avoids the problem of stickers falling off.”
The mark is invisible once skin is removed and doesn’t affect shelf life or eating quality. The companies carrying out the trial have said that it is in response to the growing concern by consumers about the ethical impact of the food they buy.