Eroski has removed more than 1,100 tonnes of conventional single-use plastics from its operations annually after stepping up its plastic reduction commitment.
The reductions result from the increased use of recyclable alternatives to replace single-use plastic bags as well as a revision of its own-brand packaging, the Spanish retailer said.
Eroski has introduced new options in paper bags, offering more than 55% recycled material or compostable bags, to expand the reusable options available.
In 1997, the retailer pledged to reduce plastic in its operations by incorporating bags that could be reused up to 15 times and with 40% more capacity.
In 2009, the retailer launched a new reusable bag and decided to discount one cent for each unused plastic bag.
Director of health and sustainability at Eroski, Alejandro Martínez Berriochoa, said, “With this measure, we were rewarding consumers who adopted more ecologically responsible consumption habits. The campaign was well-received by consumers because we managed to convey to them the need to save the environment from [plastic] bags with absolute transparency.”
In 2010, Eroski was eight years ahead of the Spanish regulations on reducing plastic bags and began charging for single-use bags, which resulted in a 60% reduction in plastic consumption.
Alongside the changes to plastic bags, the retailer has pledged to eco-design 100% of its own-brand packaging by 2025 to reduce the use of conventional plastic by 20% and make it 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable.
In addition, Eroski is eliminating single-use plastics such as straws, swabs, or tableware. It is also replacing rings on its own brand soft drink cans and bottles with other alternatives made with recycled material or cardboard.
The retailer also strives to apply responsible management of material that cannot be avoided by promoting recycling, reuse and reverse logistics processes across its operations.
The company added that it recycles around 3,000 tonnes of plastic materials each year.