Delhaize will stop selling hygiene products such as toothpaste and shower gels containing micro plastic beads
Belgian supermarket chain Delhaize will stop selling hygiene products containing plastic micro-beads in a bid to reduce waste in our oceans and drinking water.
Questioned by Delano on measures taken to reduce plastic waste, a Delhaize spokesperson said on 30 January that the chain still stocks a shower scrub containing plastic micro-beads. “Once the stock is exhausted, they will be replaced by a product containing silica beads,” they said.
Micro-beads are among a handful of ways that microscopic plastic fibres have infiltrated our drinking water and our bodies. In 2017, media firm Orb found plastic fibres in 72% of drinking water tests conducted in Europe.
Several other countries have already banned or are banning micro-beads, including France, the UK, the US, and Canada, while Luxembourg is backing calls to ban them throughout the EU.
Reducing plastic waste
Delhaize has not only worked to phase out micro-beads. Last year it won a Greener Packaging Award and has reduced packaging on certain products, using cardboard halopacks for its fast food meals and natural branding of some organic vegetables, removing the need for labels or other packaging. It has also charged customers to use a plastic bag for the last 10 years to incentivise people to reuse bags.
When asked about products containing micro-beads, Luxembourg supermarket chain Cactus did not respond. However, it has made efforts in plastic waste reduction, introducing recyclable bags in 1998. In August 2017, it introduced veggie bags, pictured above, which can be reused and washed.
“The washable bag allows customers to buy their fruits and vegetables without using plastic bags, which will only be in use for a couple of minutes,” a Cactus spokesman told Delano at the end of January.