Continente recycled more than 42 thousand tonnes of waste in 2020

Among the residues from its operations and those delivered by customers in stores, in 2020, Continente sent 42,184 tonnes - the weight of 420 blue whales - of plastic, cardboard, wood, batteries, cork and other materials for recycling. Last year, while Sonae MC's businesses, as a whole, grew above 9%, the growth rate of waste managed by Sonae MC was below 2%.

Plastic waste, mostly packaging material, decreased by around 1.1% (compared to the same period in the previous year) to 2,548 tonnes and the cardboard generated in the store and sent for recycling added up to 37,700 tonnes.

Continente stores not only promote the recycling of thousands of tonnes of waste every year, but also involve customers in this process, encouraging responsible behaviour. In 2020, customers delivered 503 tonnes of used clothing, 72 tonnes of used cooking oil, 24 tonnes of used batteries, 25 tonnes of used batteries and 33 tonnes of cork stoppers to Continente stores for recycling.

imagem de mulher a agarrar garrafas de plastico para reciclagem

“As a leading retailer, we know that our duty is to find and implement measures that seek to minimize the impact of our activity, while also sensitizing suppliers, partners, employees and customers to the importance of their contribution. We reinforce our public commitment as an active agent in raising awareness and mobilizing the Portuguese, informing, sensitizing and promoting environmental citizenship behaviours, which ensure our collective future”, explains Vítor Martins, Environment Director at Sonae MC.

Continente has been implementing several measures within the scope of its Strategy for the Responsible Use of Plastics. In 2020, Continente reached a savings level of more than 4,200 tonnes of virgin plastic per year. This value represents a growth of 90% in relation to the 2,200 tonnes / year announced in April 2019 on the platform.

In addition to the tonnes of virgin plastic eliminated (between eliminating unnecessary plastic and replacing virgin material with recycled material), the brand also replaced 50 tonnes of low recyclability plastic (such as PVC) with other materials that are easier to recycle (such as PET) from their products. Currently, 73% of private label references are already 100% recyclable.

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, while also ensuring that they all have reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging.

You can find out more about Continente's 2020 initiatives, more specifically good environmental practices, in Missão Continente’s annual report.

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