Continente guarantees 100% of all packages will be reusable, recyclabe or compostable

100% of all over-four-thousand packages of private label products will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. This measure represents the extinction of all unnecessary and possible to be eliminated plastic in the retailer products’ packages and is one of the six targets announced by Continente concerning the responsible use of plastic:

. By 2025, all private label packages should be 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable;
. All products and packages of plastic materials considered critical or unnecessary will be eliminated, as for example the plastic boxes of Continente cotton buds or Cafeterias’ crockery;
. Models of reutilization for products/packages will be privileged within the commercial activity, as is the case of reusable bags;
. The incorporation of recycled material in new packages will be increased, consistently with other already implemented measures as: plastic bags produced with 80% of recycled material and 100% recyclable and butcher, bakery and pastry section food trays that incorporate 50% of recycled PET;
. Projects that aim for the development of alternative, more sustainable, materials (that don’t require productive natural resources) or the reduction of fossil origin materials, as is the case of the recent partnership established with Minho’s University for the integral elimination of microplastics in Continente’s products, will be encouraged;
. Information and sensitization actions targeted at consumers and civil society will be intensified.

Continente has been implementing, over time, diverse measures on the responsible use of plastics, regarding private label solutions, logistics, suppliers, incentives to innovation (namely through partnerships established with national and international universities for the development of R&D projects) and on raising awareness to consumers. As a result, considering the already implemented measures, Continente foresees a reduction, in 2019 alone, of over 2 thousand tons of plastic, resulting from the set of initiatives that aim for the reduction of the environmental impact of its’ businesses, as are example:

. The complete replacement of Continente and Continente Online plastic bags for new ones produced with 80% of recycled material and 100% recyclable - which represents annual savings of 1 295 tons of virgin material;
. The application of recycled materials in private label packaging, notably through the incorporation of 50% of recycled plastic in butcher, bakery and pastry section food trays – which represents annual savings of 446 tons of plastic;
. The reduction of 30% to 50% in the quantity of plastic used in internal operations - which represents annual savings of 72 tons of plastic;
. The comprehensive removal of plastic in cafeterias and Take Away operations, substituting plastic crockery by wood options and eliminating plastic straws, plates and cups – a set of measures that totalizes annual savings of 39 tons of plastic;
. The removal of plastic material in cotton buds, which represents annual savings of 20,8 tons of plastic;
. The reduction by 72% of plastic material in BOOST batteries package, corresponding to annual savings of 6 tons of plastic;
. Pioneers in eliminating the mould in Fresh Cheese Continente, corresponding to annual savings of 11 tons of plastic;
. The reduction of the plastic grammage in 22cl and 50cl water bottles, which represents annual savings of 83 tons of plastic.

This measures, aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals designed by the United Nations for 2030, as well as the national and European incentives towards a Circular Economy, are inserted in the framework of the “Commitment Responsible Plastic”, that seeks alternative and economically sustainable options to the utilization of fossil origin plastic, with particular focus on single use products, privileging models of substitution by other materials, reutilization, reduction of material, incorporation of recycled materials or the elimination of problematic or unnecessary plastic material in private label products/packages, across all business brands.

Isabel Barros, Sonae MC’s Executive Member of Board of Directors and Sonae’s Sustainability Advisory Group President, states: “From an early period, and betting on eco-design, Continente has taken a front position in the fight against the excessive use and consumption of plastic, based in three strategic axes: act, involve, influence. Our «Strategy and Commitments for the Responsible Use of Plastics» is perfectly coherent with our Environment Policy and reflects Continente’s endeavor in the development of alternatives that contribute to the optimization and minimization of plastic use, which is one the most pressing issues of our times.”

So, following on the guidelines defined by the EU in its “Plastics Strategy”, Continente anticipates by 5 years the community goal that intends all packages to be reusable, recyclable or compostable until 2030.

To know more about Continente’s “Commitment for the Responsible Use of Plastics” visit plasticoresponsavel.continente.pt

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