Plastic People

The age of plastic-free packaging has taken a step closer thanks to a striking initiative designed by MadeThought in conjunction with A Plastic Planet for the Dutch supermarket Ekoplaza. Let's hope Tesco, Sainsbury's etc. take note…

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Can design change the world? Maybe not in isolation, but when a top class agency works with an enlightened client, good things can certainly happen. Grafik favourites MadeThought have collaborated with the environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet to design the world’s first Plastic Free mark and Plastic Free shopping aisle. Launched in an Amsterdam branch of the progressive Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza, the aisle will house over 700 plastic-free products.

Tapping into an environmental issue which people are becoming increasingly concerned with, the striking mark will provide an easy way for consumers to recognise a product's eco-credentials. Unlike shops which promote a packaging-free shopping environment, Plastic Free is good for the environment without sacrificing convenience – an important factor in the viability of an initiative which is trying to make a lasting impact on the way we shop.

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The second Plastic Free aisle will open in the Ekoplaza branch in the Hague in June, with the remaining 74 branches following on after that. The compelling launch campaign features badges, posters and (plastic-free) carrier bags, making full use of the bold, angled typographic Plastic Free mark.

As MadeThought's Ben Parker notes, “In taking on this challenging brief, we wanted to look beyond the overused lines about environmentalism and altruism. The brief was all about fashioning a new way of looking at plastic and its place in modern life.  It was about realising an inspiring vision of the future that transcends the limited modes of thought that have gone before. Design can never be truly progressive unless it changes behaviour. Plastic Free Aisles offer a vision of the future that consumers can get on board with. They demonstrate that going plastic-free does not mean forsaking choice, convenience or quality. Instead, going plastic-free enhances all those things.” Here, here. Let's hope that the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose et are listening…