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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

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 2021, the Group reduced its total consumption of materials by 5.7% per million euros in sales. 


* per 1 million euros in sales

as at 31/12/2021

 Plastic consumption

  • We have been part of the Portuguese Plastics Pact and the Polish Plastics Pact (through Biedronka) since 2020. We are also part of the design working group of The Consumer Goods Forum’s Plastic Waste Coalition of Action and 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 2021, plastic accounted for 32% of total materials used in the four packaging categories: Private Brand packaging, service packaging, check-out bags and wrapping film.

 Single-Use Plastics

In 2021 we reduced the specific consumption of single-use plastic (SUP) by 2.6% per million euros in sales.

We have been adopting some measures to reduce SUP consumption. It is the cases of new Biedronka shopping trolleys and baskets (containing 25% recycled plastic made from fishing nets taken out of the Baltic, the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean) and allowing Pingo Doce customers to use their containers to pack fresh food, fish, meat, bread and cold meats purchased over the counter.

Other measures include the elimination of the plastic window of paper bread bags at Pingo Doce and Biedronka, the sale of Private Brand rubbish bags (120 litres size) made with 86% recycled material, and the end of single-use plastic bags at Ara stores in the city of Santa Marta (Colombian coast).

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 encourage a reduction in paper consumption.

The paper used for 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).

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 2021 was 85% 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 11.8% of Private Brand products have been modified in this regard since 2011, in line with the Group’s goal of reaching 12% by 2023.

Between 2011 and 2021, we have avoided using around 31,500 tonnes of materials and the emission of 5,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide (in transport) by improving the eco-efficiency of the packaging of 743 Private Brand references.

Reusable Packaging

We seek to reuse materials in our operations. In 2021, we saved 37,000 tonnes of disposable packaging and used over 70 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. In 2021 this product prevented the consumption of 69 tonnes of single-use plastic, and in June, Ara launched a similar pilot project at the Rodadero Gaira store in Santa Marta. In this region, water quality is assured by 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 2021, more than 85% of Ara stores offered the bulk sale of rice, sugar, lentils and beans. All Biedronka stores and 240 Pingo Doce stores sell dried fruits and sweets in Poland and Portugal in bulk.

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 2021 Annual Report.