Over the last three years, Carrefour Spain has halved the amount of plastic used in the packaging of fruit and vegetables.
As a result of the success in the venture, the retailer will pack more products using other materials, such as cardboard, netting, and biodegradable packaging.
The Spanish arm of the retail giant has cut out more than 1,000 tonnes of plastic in the past three years.
Some examples of plastic packaging reduction include eliminating plastic from 70% of its vegetables packaging, 100% of the packaging used for Carrefour Spain citrus fruits (for products weighing up to 1.5 kilograms), and for 80% of its own-brand grapes.
These products now rely on packaging based on alternative materials, such as cellulose netting and cardboard for fruit punnets.
In the same period, Carrefour reduced its total use of plastic by 7,154 tonnes at an overall group level.
Furthermore, the retailer wants to reduce its total packaging by 20,000 tonnes between now and 2025, 15,000 tonnes of which will be plastic.
For Carrefour Spain, reducing the amount of waste it generates relies on a collective approach that involves working with groups in the grocery sector, other retailers, and its customers.
The chain was the first company in Spain to allow its customers to bring their own containers to stores to purchase fresh produce, reducing the quantity of packaging required at counters.
Plastic Waste Innovations
Carrefour Spain provides customers with packs of 100% cotton bags that can be purchased and reused with future purchases.
The retailer uses bags that are compostable and biodegradable in its greengrocer sections and sells more than 80 different loose products in the dry fruit section, while olives and pickles are sold in glass jars.
Similarly, customers have reusable cardboard boxes and a 'receptacle' into which they can throw away plastic once they have made their purchases.
To supplement these measures, Carrefour has rollout the ReciclaYa application for iPhone and Android.
Customers can use it to get information about recycling and learn how to segregate and recycle products in their baskets.
Furthermore, Carrefour Spain teamed up with Procter & Gamble (P&G) for the #MiPlayaSinPlásticos project, designed to raise awareness around the impact of disposing waste on beaches.
Since it was first launched, 1700 kilograms of waste has been collected under the project.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Conor Farrelly. For more Packaging news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.