Portuguese supermarket chain Pingo Doce is allowing consumers to bring their own containers for certain products, including fish, meat, bread, delicatessen, or fresh food.
The aim of the initiative is to reduce the use of single-use packaging and promote reuse by encouraging a change in consumer behaviour towards more sustainable practices.
The store banner, owned by Portuguese retail group Jerónimo Martins, said it accepts containers from its customers, provided that they are 'in good condition, i.e., clean and dry, free of odours, without residues and with a functional lid.'
Customers are required to bring their containers to respective service counters. The retailer will deduct the weight of the boxes from the final price of the product.
The supermarket chain added that 'glass containers will not be accepted, since they pose a risk to food safety in case of breakage."
Ban On Single-Use Plastic
The new measure is in addition to the ban on the use of plastic containers for ready-to-eat meals imposed by new legislation that has come into force in Portugal on 1 July.
Jerónimo Martins Group uses flexible and rigid plastics across the entire products' portfolio in terms of private brand and perishables.
According to the 2020 progress report of the 'New Plastic Economy Global Commitment' - an initiative led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation - the Jerónimo Martins Group is one of the global food retailers that publicly discloses the amount of single-use plastics for which it is responsible.
The total plastic packaging volume of the Portuguese group amounted to 172,088 metric tonnes, of which 0.4% were reusable.
By 2025, the company aims to switch to 100% of reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging.