Intermarché To Cease Sale Of Plastic Cotton Swabs
French retailer Intermarché has announced that it will stop selling plastic cotton swabs from 16 July and replace them with swabs made of recycled paper.
The move comes 18 months before the personal care products are definitively banned by French legislation on biodiversity and the protection of the environment introduced in 2016.
Intermarché says it is taking the initiative to help fight against the eight million tonnes of plastic waste finding its way into the ocean, including cotton swabs, bottle caps and plastic bags.
To replace the plastic cotton swabs, Intermarché will offer fully biodegradable products, similar to the ones stocked by UK retailer Sainsbury's, which are made with FSC paper. The retailer will also be launching a replacement product under its private label brand Labell at the same time.
Recently, Danish retailer føtex decided to stop sales of cotton swabs.
According to Frédéric Gourgeon, head of private label at Intermarché, "Thanks to our unique position as producers and retailers we can have a proactive CSR approach. Today's announcement has been made possible by our relationship with innovative SMEs such as the Lemoine Group."
Made in Normandy
The new biodegradable cotton swab was designed by Groupe Lemoine, a Normandy-based company which is considered to be an industry leader.
According to its CEO, Alexandre Lemoine, the swap to biodegradable swabs has been a long time coming. He explained, "As soon we were informed of the proposed bill [in March 2014], we started an R&D project and increased our communication with Intermarché in order to co-design this new product, which allows us today to be the first to be able to offer those new FSC paper swabs, which are perfectly respectful of our environment."
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Matthieu Chassain. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.