Italian retailer Unes has introduced a set of initiatives aimed at raising consumer awareness of the need to protect the environment.
These include the elimination of plastic tableware from its stores and a number of infrastructure improvements aimed at lessening the group’s environmental impact.
Since June, Unes has started phasing out disposable PET knives, forks and spoons from its stores, in accordance with required legislation, a project that should be completed by the end of 2019.
As part of this commitment, the group has opened the first U2 Supermercato (in Codogno, near Lodi) that will sell only biodegradable and compostable disposable tableware.
Green Oasis Casa
Unes has also introduced a new ecological line of products for home and laundry care, Green Oasis Casa, formulated from raw materials of vegetable origin and recommended by Legambiente.
The bottles are made of reused plastic and the concentrated formula of the detergents allows the use of a smaller quantity of product, avoiding waste. The packaging is smaller and boasts a lower environmental impact, since they require less plastic and less CO2 is emitted for their transport.
In recent years, the Unes group has eliminated plastic bags, replacing them with biodegradable and compostable ones and with reusable non-woven bags; it has eliminated traditional plastic packaging from private label mineral water packages; and introduced compacting machines for recycling plastic bottles.
Ahead of other players in the retail sector, Unes has adopted infrastructure solutions for reducing energy consumption: in many stores, there are systems that allow the recovery of heat from refrigerated counters for heating the store.
U2 Supermercato has also stopped printing and distributing flyers, thus avoiding paper waste, and provides charging stations for electric cars, encouraging more sustainable mobility.
Unes operates more than 190 stores in the Lombardy, Piedmont and Emilia Romagna regions, both directly owned and franchised, under various banners - U! Come tu mi vuoi – Supermercati, U2 Supermercato, and Il Viaggiator Goloso.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine