K in Action:
Putting shopping in new kind of circular economy bags instead of plastic bags
K Group is committed to reducing the consumption of plastic bags. The latest alternative for a plastic bag is the Pirkka ESSI circular economy bag, made from plastic packaging recycled by households.
Plastic bags cause problems when they end up in water bodies and elsewhere in the natural environment. A particular concern in K Group's operating environment is the littering of the Baltic Sea and large lake bodies.
The aim of the EU packaging directive (94/62/EC, 2015/720/EU) is to keep the annual consumption level at a maximum of 40 plastic bags per person by 2025. K Group is committed to promoting the achievement of this target. In 2016, some 55 plastic bags were consumed per person in Finland.
Find out more about the actions aimed to reduce plastics by clicking on the icons:
Plastic bags cause problems when they end up in water bodies and elsewhere in the natural environment. A particular concern in Kesko's operating environment is the littering of the Baltic Sea and large lake bodies. Kesko is committed to the EU’s objective to reduce consumption of plastic bags to 40 bags per capita by 2025.
Kesko provides alternatives for plastic bags in its selections: reusable bags, cotton bags and jute bags, as well as paper bags and recycled plastic bags. At the beginning of 2017, Pirkka ESSI recycled bag was added to the choice. Kesko aims to increase alternative carrier bags’ and cardboard boxes’ share of sales to 10% by 2025.
The chlorine, stabilisers and phthalates contained in PVC are estimated to cause significant environmental and health impacts. Packaging material containing PVC in Kesko’s own brands’ products will be replaced with an alternative material by the end of 2016.
In order to protect waterways, Kesko will discontinue the use of plastic microbeads in all of its own brands’ cosmetic products during 2017.
As from the beginning of 2017, retail plastic bags will be subject to a charge at all K-Group food stores, building and home improvement stores, agricultural stores and machinery stores, as well as furniture stores.
Thin small plastic bags will no longer be on display at the checkout line. They will be handed out on request for covering products that may leak.
In its procurement and distribution logistics, Kesko uses reusable plastic containers, which reduces the quantity of cardboard parckaging waste by around 4,000 tons per year.
Nearly all of Kesko’s own brand product packages have recycling identification codes. The missing codes will be added to the packages of own brand products within 2017.
The K-Group offers its customers the most comprehensive Rinki eco take-back point network in Finland. Plastic is collected at 160 plastic collection points adjoining K-stores. K-food stores receive and recycle nearly 120 million PET plastic bottles per year. Kesko's target is that by 2025, 100% of plastic waste is collected for reuse in all divisions.
The operations of the food and building and home improvement stores are guided by the K-responsibility concept. One of its main themes is taking care of the environment. As for its e-commerce, Kesko recognizes its responsibility as a producer by taking care of the collection of plastic and other packaging materials and by paying the producer responsibility fees for its packaging.
Circular economy bags made of household plastic packaging waste
As from January 2017, we offer K-food store customers new kind of circular economy bags, made from packaging plastics recycled by customers, as alternatives to shopping bags.
There are 396 Rinki eco take-back points in connection with K-stores, 160 of which accept plastic packaging plastics.
The Pirkka ESSI circular economy bag, manufactured by Amerplast Oy, is the first Finnish plastic bag made from recycled plastics from households. It promotes the circular economy, because after use, it can be recycled again through the Rinki eco take-back points for use as a raw material for new circular economy bags.
At least 45% of the recycled plastic used as a raw material for the Pirkka ESSI circular bag economy consists of plastic packaging waste from households. At least 45% of used recycled plastic comes from industry. As such, circular economy bags considerably reduce the use of virgin raw material consumption and greenhouse emissions.