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Major retailer tests new method to label avocados in supermarkets — here's why it matters

If successful, this technology could be applied to a variety of produce.

If successful, this technology could be applied to a variety of produce.

Photo Credit: iStock

A supermarket group has started laser-etching its avocados, proving that even fruit can get a high-tech makeover.

Tesco has begun trials on a groundbreaking method for labeling avocados in its United Kingdom supermarkets. This initiative, announced in May, promises to revolutionize the way consumers interact with produce while significantly reducing waste.

Instead of traditional stickers, Tesco is now using laser technology to label avocados with essential product information, according to Reuters. This planet-friendly method eliminates the need for paper or plastic stickers, which often end up as litter and contribute to environmental degradation. The laser labeling process also reduces the need for adhesive materials and the energy used in sticker production. 

This innovative move is not only a win for the environment but also a significant convenience for consumers. Shoppers will no longer need to peel off stickers that often leave behind residue, and the laser-etched information is resistant to washing and handling. 

The impact of this development extends beyond just avocados. If successful, this technology could be applied to a variety of produce, potentially transforming how supermarkets across the globe manage product labeling.

Tesco's initiative is part of a broader movement of supermarkets taking initiative to promote environmental sustainability. For instance, Netherlands-based chain Albert Heijn has partnered with chemical technology company Avantium to introduce the world's first PEF (polyethylene furanoate) packaging for its store-brand products. 

PEF is a plant-based, circular material that is non-toxic and biodegrades faster than traditional materials like PET (polyethylene terephthalate). This new packaging not only withstands higher temperatures but also extends the shelf life of food and beverages, helping to reduce food waste. 

Similarly, Albertsons has been working on making sustainability visible and tangible through its partnership with Uber to deliver surplus food to nonprofits and food banks, as well as artificial intelligence-based systems to manage inventory better and reduce waste. 

These initiatives highlight the power of technology and corporate responsibility in driving meaningful change. With each new development, we're reminded that sustainability isn't just a trend — it's an essential evolution that promotes the health of both humans and the planet, making our shopping trips beneficial for our well-being and the environment alike.

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