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Packaging And Design

Portuguese Retailers Announce Plastic Reduction Measures

A number of Portuguese retailers have unveiled plastic reduction measures, with Auchan Retail Portugal ceasing the sale of single-use plastic disposable items such as plates, bowls, glasses, cutlery and straws.

All these products have been replaced by Actuel Green, an eco-friendly range produced with natural materials, which offers biodegradable and reusable alternatives.

The Actuel Green line is manufactured with natural materials and includes products made with cardboard of sustainable origin and biodegradable plastic, and reusable alternatives, produced with bamboo and melamine.

To reduce carbon footprint, 90% of Actuel Green's products are produced in Europe, with the goal of reaching 100% by 2022.

In developing the range, Auchan worked together with an independent entity, based in Brussels, and studied the life cycle of its products and the environmental impact of alternative materials, ahead of the European Union introducing a ban on disposable plastics from July 2021.

Plastic Reduction

Elsewhere, Sonae MC’s banner Continente has announced savings of 4,200 tonnes of plastics per year, an increase of 90% over the 2,200 tonnes/year it reported as of April 2019.

The retailer’s commitment, within the scope of its Strategy for the Responsible Use of Plastics, also involves suppliers, such as bananas sourced from Madeira, which now arrive in stores bound with an elastic strap, resulting in an annual saving of 11 tonnes of plastic.

Another of Continente’s projects is a 100% recyclable bakery bag, which will save 94 tonnes of plastic per year.

The retailer has committed to bringing forward to 2025 the goal, set by the EU for 2030, to reduce (or even eliminate where possible) the use of plastic materials of fossil origin for private label products, replacing it with reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging.

Recycling Drive

Spanish-owned retailer, Coviran said it recycled 1,006 tonnes of cardboard, plastic and pallets in 2019, 67.7 tonnes more than the previous year.

In addition, 600 kilograms of hazardous materials such as batteries and oils were also reused, while five tonnes of plastic film, the material used to seal food transported on pallets, was also saved.

As part of its environmental initiatives, the Spanish retailer introduced reusable mesh bags for fruit and vegetables. In addition, scanning has been introduced in offices to reduce paper consumption and the retailer has cut back the number of promotional leaflets it produces.

© 2020 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

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