Skip to content
The right choice

We seek to optimise the use of packaging materials without compromising the quality and food safety of our products.
  • Share
  • Listen

Materials and Packaging

We work with our suppliers to develop products and packaging to help reduce the amount of materials used, encourage the use of recycled materials, and ensure the recyclability of our Private Brand and Perishables assortment.

In 2020, the Group reduced its total consumption of materials by 1.9% per million euros in sales.

9.2%
REDUCTION IN SINGLE-USE PLASTIC PER 1 M€ IN SALES

As at 31/12/2020

 Plastic consumption

In 2020, we joined the Portuguese Plastics Pact, the Polish Plastics Pact – through Biedronka – and the design working group of The Consumer Goods Forum’s Plastic Waste Coalition of Action.

Also considering our membership of the New Plastic Economy Global Commitment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and by 2025, we are committed to:

  • ensuring that 100% of Private Brand plastic packaging is reusable or recyclable;
  • incorporating at least 25% of recycled content in Private Brand plastic packaging;
  • reducing specific plastic consumption by 10%, compared to 2018, measured in tonnes of plastic packaging for every one million euros of turnover.

In 2020, plastic accounted for 31% of total materials used in the four packaging categories: Private Brand packaging, service packaging, check-out bags and wrapping film.

 Single-Use Plastics

In 2020, we reduced the use of single-use plastic in almost all categories, thanks to the Companies’ efforts to anticipate the targets for reducing the consumption of single-use plastic.

Below are some of the measures we have been implementing to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic.

  1. We now use paper straws for the Pingo Doce and Recheio 200ml milk cartons and, in early 2021, we finished replacing the plastic straws with paper straws of our Private Brand 200ml juices sold in Portugal. This change corresponds to a reduction of 15 tonnes of single-use plastic per year.
  2. The range of Pingo Doce Private Brand household accessories launched in 2020 now incorporates varying percentages of recycled plastic, thus helping to avoid the consumption of 5.1 tonnes of virgin plastic per year. Also in 2020, Pingo Doce and Recheio started using 100% recycled plastic for their Private Brand rubbish bags. This change reintroduces more than 1,700 tonnes of post-consumer recycled plastic into the economy per year, thus avoiding the consumption of an equivalent amount of virgin plastic.
  3. At Biedronka, we replaced the plastic straws of two of the banner’s Private Brand juices with paper straws, removed the plastic spoons from a yoghurt, and replaced the plastic fork offered with a ready-to-eat salad with a wooden fork. In all, these changes help avoid around 18 tonnes of single-use plastic per year.
  4. Sincen 2020, Pingo Doce, Recheio and Biedronka eliminated all microplastics from the ingredients of their personal care products, cosmetics and detergents.

Paper consumption

We seek not only to use paper from sustainably managed forests, but also to reduce the use of paper.

In 2020, and as a result of the pandemic, we reduced the consumption of total paper used in promotional leaflets in all Companies by 42.7%. Moreover, the paper used in the Pingo Doce and Recheio leaflets and catalogues bears the EU Ecolabel, is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) certified or has Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). The same applies to Biedronka leaflets.

In Portugal, the paper used for printing the banners’ magazines is PEFC or FSC® certified and/or the companies producing it have ISO 14001 certification.

Packaging ecodesign

An efficient sustainability strategy implies changing internal practices and working together with our suppliers to help improve the eco-efficiency of Private Brand packaging. The goal is to reduce our environmental impact and optimise production costs, transportation and waste management.

In 2020, we implemented 148 packaging ecodesign projects (78 at Biedronka, 36 at Pingo Doce, 14 at Hebe, 10 at Recheio and 10 at Ara).

Since 2011, we have avoided the use of around 27,500 tonnes of materials and the emission of 4,500 tonnes of CO2 (in transport) by improving the eco-efficiency of the packaging of 534 Private Brand references.

REUSABLE PACKAGING

We strive to reuse increasingly more materials in our operations. As a result, we avoided using more than 35 thousand tonnes of single-use packaging.

We charge customers for the plastic bags provided at the checkout counters of all our Companies. Since 2007, and without waiting for the laws imposing the measure, the Group gradually starting charging customers for check-out bags to help encourage customers to reuse plastic bags.

Since 2018 Pingo Doce, in partnership with the New Water Project, has offered a solution to refill reusable plastic bottles. At the end of 2020, the ECO bottle was available in 138 stores and helped avoid the consumption of 73 tonnes of plastic during the year.

Biedronka and Pingo Doce launched reusable polyester produce bags for fruit and vegetables in 2020 to encourage consumers to reduce their use of single-use plastic bags.

Bulk Sales

Bulk sales in Ara represented almost 51 thousand tonnes of food products, being an available option in 548 stores where at least one of the items covered is sold: rice, sugar, lentils, or beans.

In Poland and Portugal, all Biedronka stores and more than half of the Pingo Doce stores offer dried and sweet fruit in bulk, representing around 27 thousand tonnes at Biedronka and 235 tonnes at Pingo Doce.

Independent Verification

Information on the savings in materials as a result of the ecodesign packaging projects and the Group’s plastic footprint was confirmed by an external and independent entity for the Group’s 2020 Annual Report.