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.

In 2022, the Group Companies reduced their total consumption of materials by 20.3% per million euros in sales.


* Private Brand product and service packaging

as at 31/12/2022

 Plastic consumption

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

It is through the latter initiative that we have committed, by 2025, to:

  • 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 plastic packaging per million euros of turnover;
  • reduce virgin plastic used in Private Brand packaging by 15%, compared to 2018.

In 2022, plastic accounted for 34% of total materials used in the four packaging categories: Private Brand packaging, service packaging, check-out bags and wrapping film.

 Single-Use Plastics

In 2022 we reduced the specific consumption of single-use plastic (SUP) by 14.6% per million euros in sales.

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. In 2022, Pingo Doce launched the “Eco mesh bags” collection. These mesh bags, which are produced in Portugal and made of cotton, can be used to carry shopping and other day-to-day items. To help reduce the use of disposable packaging in the customer service sections (meat, fish, takeaway, cold meats, bakery and coffee shop), Pingo Doce sells different sized reusable boxes for customers to carry their purchases.

In Colombia, Ara’s six distribution centres and headquarters have a collection system for PET plastic bottles and caps. It has collected 1,550 kilos of plastic bottles and caps since 2021.

In Poland, and to reduce the quantity of plastic used in the fresh meat and fish trays and make them easier to recycle, Biedronka removed the plastic materials used to absorb the fluids from those products and replaced them with cellulose alternatives.

The Jerónimo Martins Group Companies have been applying a plastic bag charge at check-outs since 2017. The bags available at Biedronka and Pingo Doce are Blue Angel certified and contain 85% post-consumer recycled plastic.

Paper consumption

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

The paper used for the Pingo Doce and Recheio leaflets and catalogues and the Biedronka leaflets bears the EU Ecolabel, is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) certified or has Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

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.

The paper and cardboard used in Private Brand product and service packaging in 2022 was 81% 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 18% 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 2022 we avoided the use of around 36,247 tonnes of materials and the emission of 5,712 tonnes of CO2 (in transport) by improving the eco-efficiency of the packaging of 1,156 Private Brand references.

Reusable Packaging

We seek to reuse materials in our operations and, in 2022, we saved 47,000 tonnes of disposable packaging. The Group used over 90 million reusable transport boxes for perishables, bakery products, milk and bottled water.

Since 2018, Pingo Doce, in partnership with the New Water Project, has offered a solution for customers to fill reusable plastic bottles. During 2022 this product prevented the consumption of 96 tonnes of single-use plastic. In June 2021, Ara launched a similar pilot project at the Rodadero Gaira store in Santa Marta, an area where water quality is assured using the filtration technology of the refilling system.

Biedronka and Pingo Doce launched reusable polyester bags for fruit and vegetables in 2020, encouraging consumers to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags.

Bulk Sales

In 2022, more than 55% of Ara stores offered the bulk sale of rice, sugar, lentils and beans. Bulk dried fruit and sweets are available in 97% of Biedronka stores and in 51% of Pingo Doce stores.

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 2022 Annual Report.