Whenever you bring out some freshly bought fruits and vegetables to wash, you will always find a small plastic sticker on it. You get slightly annoyed, peel it off, and throw it away. However, those stickers are cause of an environmental concern. It’s a huge waste of plastic, uses a whole ton of energy to make, and creates a lot of CO2 emissions.
So, to combat this, Nature & More and Swedish supermarket ICA have started working together to replace sticky labels on sweet potatoes with laser marks.They decided to call it “natural branding”. The technique uses a strong light to remove pigment from the skin of produce, and is invisible once skin is removed. It also does not affect shelf life or eating quality, so there are no negative effects whatsoever. Switching to natural branding produces only 1% of carbon emissions needed to produce a sticker of similar size. Due to the huge amount of fruits and vegetables stuck with these annoying plastic labels, the impact of switching to natural brandings is huge. Switching to natural branding also reduces the use of paper, ink, and glue.
Although right now natural branding has only been made for potatoes and avocados, branding other fruits and vegetables should be no problem. It is challenging to do so, but I have faith in these companies’ abilities to brand any fruit they like. Already, natural branding has appeared in European markets, and once all produce switches to natural branding, the difference it would make would be immeasurable. It also makes the life for the rest of us easier, not having to peel off those pesky little labels.