Continente eliminates plastic straws from its milk and juice packages

By the end of the year, Continente will replace all plastic straws in individual milk, juice, nectars and iced teas of its own private label, with recyclable paper straws, anticipating the European directive that prohibits the sale of single-use disposables from 2021.

The new milk, juices, nectars and iced teas packages with paper straws have already started to arrive at Continente stores and they include the new recyclability iconography, developed in partnership with Sociedade Ponto Verde for Continente products: the straw must be inserted, after use, inside the milk or juice package. Despite being made of paper, it is recommended to recycle them together, in the yellow recycle bin (Ecoponto), so that the straw (of smaller size) is also sorted in the waste treatment centres and correctly recycled.

Continente plans to replace all plastic straws in its own labelled milk and juice packages by the end of the year, thereby reducing the production of 35 million plastic straws per year.

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For Ana Alves, Private Label Director at Sonae MC, “accelerating the transition to a circular economy is only possible with everyone’s involvement. We want to contribute as much as possible to this process of replacing unnecessary plastic in Continente labelled products and we count on our consumers to ensure that, after being used, the packaging has the right destination allowing it to gain a new life”.

Single-use disposables, such as plastic straws, are primarily responsible for ocean pollution and will be banned in the European Union from 2021.

As an active agent in the promotion of conscious consumption habits, Continente has committed itself to anticipating by 2025, the ambition defined by the European Union for 2030, to reduce (or even eliminate when possible) the use of plastic materials of fossil origin, in regards of private label products, ensuring that they all have reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging.

This is yet another initiative developed within the scope of the Strategy for the Responsible Use of Plastics, the implementation of which has already enabled Continente to achieve a savings level of 4,200 tonnes of virgin plastic per year. This value represents a growth of 90% in relation to the 2,200 tonnes per year announced in April last year.

In addition to the tonnes of virgin plastic eliminated (between eliminating unnecessary plastic and replacing virgin material with recycled material), the brand replaced from its products 50 tonnes of low recyclability plastic (such as PVC) with other materials that are easier to recycle (such as PET).

In 2019, Continente launched a platform totally dedicated to the theme of plastic that reflects its commitment, initiatives, but also national and international news, in addition to tips for better use of this material.

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