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

Packaging plays an important role in preserving the food we sell. We understand the importance of guaranteeing both the integrity and shelf life of food, and the most circular development possible of materials. In the case of packaging components comprising vegetable fibres, such as paper and wood, further measures must also be adopted, so that natural systems may regenerate.

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


as at 31/12/2023

 Plastic consumption

We have been part of the Portuguese Plastics Pact and the Polish Plastics Pact (through Biedronka) since 2020. In 2022, through Ara, we joined the Colombian Plastics Pact.

We are also part of the working group of The Consumer Goods Forum’s Plastic Waste Coalition of Action and are a member of the New Plastic Economy Global Commitment led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an initiative through which we have made commitments to, by 2025:

  • ensure that all Private Brand plastic packaging is reusable or recyclable;
  • incorporate at least 25% of recycled content in plastic packaging;
  • reduce specific plastic consumption by 10% compared to 2018 (measured in tonnes of packaging per million euros of turnover);
  • reduce virgin plastic used in Private Brand packaging by 15%, compared to 2018.

In 2023, plastic accounted for 33% of the materials used in service and Private Brand product packaging.

 Single-use plastics

In 2023, the specific consumption of single-use plastic (SUP) grew by 11,6% per million euros in sales, compared to 2022, mainly due to the increase in Private Brand products.

We have been implementing measures to reduce SUP consumption, for example disposable plastic-free tableware (plates, bowls and cutlery) made of forest fibres from responsibly managed forests, launched by Recheio.
Pingo Doce sells different sized reusable boxes for customers to carry their purchases.

In 2022, Pingo Doce launched the “Eco mesh bags” collection, for carrying shopping and other everyday items, made from cotton. 

Biedronka has launched a project to recycle plastic film waste from its stores and distribution centres, which is then transformed into checkout bags. This bag contains at least 80% recycled plastic and its carbon footprint is 56% lower than that of an equivalent bag made from virgin plastic.

In Colombia, Ara’s has a collection system for PET plastic bottles and caps that was extended to all distribution centers and the company’s headquarters. Since the project began in 2021, around 9 tonnes have been collected.

Paper consumption

We seek to source the paper we use from sustainably managed forests and to encourage a reduction in paper consumption.

he paper used in the Pingo Doce and Recheio leaflets and catalogues and the Biedronka leaflets bears the European Ecolabel, FSC® or PEFC certification. Of the paper and cardboard used in service packaging and Private Brand products in 2023, 82% was recycled.

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.

Approximately 30% of Private Brand products have been modified in this regard since 2011, exceeding our goal of reaching 12% by the end of 2023.

Between 2011 and 2023 we avoided the use of around 41,870 tonnes of materials and the emission of 6,296 tonnes of carbon dioxide CO2 (in transport) by improving the eco-efficiency of the packaging of more than 1,890 Private Brand references.

Reusable Packaging

We seek to reuse materials in our operations and, in 2023, we saved 40,000 tonnes of disposable packaging. In the Group we used around 80 million reusable transport boxes for perishables, bakery products, milk and bottled water.

One solution aimed at consumers is the one that Pingo Doce offers for filling reusable plastic bottles. The ECO bottle, which is the result of a partnership with the New Water Project, has existed since 2018 and was extended to 284 stores in 2023 (51 more than in 2022).

In June 2021 Ara started a similar pilot project in one of its stores in Santa Marta, an area where water quality is ensured based on the filtering technology provided by the ECO refill system.

Bulk Sales

In 2023, Biedronka sold 31 tonnes of products in bulk, a service that is available in 83% of its stores. Between sweets and nuts, Pingo Doce sold 209 tonnes (the service is available in 40% of its stores). Ara has this service in around 35% of its stores, and sold 14 tonnes of food products in bulk, such as rice, sugar, lentils and beans. 

Independent verification

Information on the savings in materials due to the ecodesign packaging projects and the Group’s plastic footprint was confirmed by an external and independent entity for the Group’s 2023 Annual Report.