Kaufland launches first store implementing anti-plastic strategy in Romania

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Kaufland has inaugurated the first store in Romania that is revamped following anti-plastic strategy, in its location on Barbu Vacarescu street in Bucharest.

Following a major investment (involving EUR 300,000 per year), the retailer has removed the plastic consumable items and replaced them by biodegradable and compostable ones.

Valer Hancas

Implementing such a strategy is not cheap, on the contrary, the costs of introducing biodegradable items are four times higher than using the usual plastic ones, but it’s one step forward in curbing pollution and bringing new solutions on anti-plastic strategy across the entire local retail market, as the retailer representatives told a press conference on Thursday.

Sustainability is part of the company’s DNA, as it takes all decisions taking into the account the impact on the environment, on the communities, on the supplier, customers and employees. Environment protection is extremely important for Kaufland. Over 47,000 tons of waste has been recycled by the company in one year: plastic, cartons, batteries, cooking oil and others (…), said Valer Hancaș, Communication & Corporate Affairs Manager Kaufland Romania.

Kaufland Barbu Vacarescu is actually the first store in the entire world network of the retailer where the company is implementing such a strategy. Kaufland pledges it is just the first step, with more actions in store in the future.

What does the strategy involve?

Over 90% of single-use plastic consumables have been replaced by 100% biodegradable and compostable environment –friendly  items. They have sugarcane or maize starch in their composition and they rot under the action of microorganisms.

Such items have been introduces in the bakery, vegetable&fruit and assisted service  departments, where the package and wraps are 100% biodegradable. At the same time, the garbage bags in the parking has been also replaced by sustainable alternatives.

For the first time, Kaufland’s Grill is 100% plastic free and all wraps (bags, cutlery, casseroles, trays, saucers, etc) are made of biodegradable materials.

Cash registers are also equipped with biodegradable bags and customers will also be able to purchase single-use such items as straws, plates, knives and forks, glasses or bowls.

The retailer has also installed dumpsters for bio-waste, where customers can throw biodegradable or compostable garbage. In the store’s parking there is also self-service recycling devices for three types of package, including plastic bottles (up to 3 liters), glass and aluminum cans (up to 1l volume); customers who use these devices will get discount vouchers that can be used in the supermarket.

The company has already announced will withdraw from all stores own brand plastic items such as Q-tips, straws and single-use plastic tableware and they will be replaced by eco-friendly items by the end of 2019.

In the future, Kaufland will reduce plastic consumption in all countries by at least 20pc until 2025 and will provide 100pc recycling of the plastic package of its own brands.

At the same time, by the end of next year, special recycling automated machines will be brought in all Kaufland stores in Romania.

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