Lasers to help cut down food packaging

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.


Written by TreeThinker

Passionate about the Earth and those who inhabit it. An engineer (BEng (Hons), MSEE) from Oxfordshire, UK, specialising in designing for a sustainable future. A member of the Society of Environmental Engineers and a keen environmental advocate who volunteers for several grass roots sustainability groups. I work full time as a project manager for a renewable energy company based in Oxford and also run ‘TreeThinker’ (; converting previous pasture land into a rich permaculture farm growing produce for sale locally. I deliver workshops on sustainable living, including building renewable energy technologies, as well as workshops for schools discussing 'Energy as a resource' amongst other topics. I am qualified in ‘Information, advice and guidance’ (level 4) and experienced at teaching practical skills. I'm also a keen cyclist and have a love of wordplay - writing a blog on etymology (

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