Finland’s K-Market Kalevantori, located in the town of Kevara, has announced that it has replaced all plastic bags with reusable, paper, and biodegradable bags.
The move is a part of the ‘plastic bag free Kerava’ initiative, which aims to make the town the first in Finland to become plastic bags free.
The idea was the brainchild of Mari Granström, who managed to get the town, and many local businesses to join the initiative, including all K-food stores in Kerava.
"Finns use 300 million regular plastic bags and 900 million small thin plastic bags every year. Most of these are reused as garbage bags for mixed waste and end up in refuse incineration plants, where valuable raw materials are not recycled, but turn into ash and slag (400,000t/year) instead," added Granström.
Environmental issues are important for the retailer, and K-Market Kalevantori joined the initiative in the spring of 2018.
“At first, customers were apprehensive about the lack of plastic bags, but soon many said at the checkout that they didn’t really need a bag and could fit their groceries in their back bag,” said Marjo Hiisijärvi of K-Market Kalevantori.
The retailer also added that shopping habits are changing among the customers in K-Market Kalevantori, as many people bring their own bags, or use a bag left by another customer at a special recycling bin at the front of the store.
However, the retailer is also aware that not every customer is happy about the lack of plastic bags. Many have justified buying a plastic bag for groceries by saying that they reuse them as garbage bags.
“Some customers have criticised the policy. They see no reason to change their habits, and we must respect everyone’s opinion.
“However, K Group is committed to the EU objective of reducing the consumption of plastic bags to 40 bags per person by 2025. By taking part in the initiative here in Kerava, we are doing our share,” said Hiisijärvi.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.