Polish retailer Żabka has achieved 'plastic neutrality' across its private-label range, meaning that in collaboration with its customers and business partners, the group has collected and re-used as much plastic as it produced.
The group has taken a number of steps to improve its 'circular economy' credentials, it said – bottles used in its Foodini, Wycisk, OD NOWA and shoty S! private labels use 100% recycled material, giving them a 33% lower carbon footprint than bottles made from primary plastics.
Separately, the group has also established return points at stores for empty bottles, and recently rolled out similar return devices for aluminium cans at 15 stores in Poznań and Warsaw, alongside partner Żywiec Zdrój.
It said that more than 1,000 bottles are collected daily at Żabka stores and 'given a second life' – last year, some 1,600 tonnes of plastic was re-used across its network, a 50% increase on previous years.
Other initiatives rolled out by the group include the introduction of fully biodegradable, paper alternatives to shopping bags and coffee lids, as well as an ongoing review of its product mix to seek out areas in which it can reduce or eliminate single-use plastics from its offering, it said.
"The modern convenience model assumes that most products we sell in Poland are consumed by customers instantly and are not wasted," commented Anna Grabowska, chief commercial officer, and vice president of the management board, Żabka Polska.
"Therefore, product packaging is the core area of our responsibility.
"Through various initiatives we encourage our customers and franchisees to join the process of building the circular economy by promoting the 'zero waste' idea. In 2020 our actions resulted in reaching plastic neutrality for the materials and packaging of private label products, available exclusively in the chain, that are marketed by Żabka."
The retailer also recently joined the Polish Plastic Pact, through which it is seeking to work "even more effectively on closing the plastic loop," Grabowska added.
Żabka recently announced the acquisition of a controlling stake in dietary marketplace Dietly.pl.