Continente saves 4.2 thousand tonnes of virgin plastic per year

As part of the initiatives developed by the Strategy for the Responsible Use of Plastics, Continente has already achieved a savings level of 4.2 thousand tonnes of this material per year. This value represents a growth of 90% in relation to the 2.2 thousand tonnes / year announced in April 2019 on the Responsible Plastic platform, which celebrates its 1st anniversary.

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

Continente's commitment to the responsible use of plastic is reflected in its own initiatives, but also by suppliers. Since this year’s January 21st, bananas from Madeira arrive in stores tied with an elastic strap, which ties the bunches together, instead of the previously used plastic bag. An alternative that will allow annual savings of 11 tonnes of virgin plastic. Changing this packaging is not exclusive to Continente, but it happened in the food retail sector due to the challenge launched in 2019, by Sonae MC, to the banana supplier in Madeira, to find a more environmentally friendly packaging solution.

A 100% recyclable bakery bag is another one of Continente's projects. This is the first and only paper bag, among food retail operators in Portugal, with a 'window' (which allows you to see the bag’s contents), which is fully recyclable (in cellulosic material) and will save 94 tonnes of plastic per year.

Alternatively, it is also possible to ask the bakery employee to maximize the number of products per bag, by adding different products, or even taking your own bags from home.

For Pedro Lago, Director of Sustainability Projects at Sonae MC, “Continente, as the leading retailer in the market, has a fundamental role in promoting the responsible use of plastic, helping to reduce the amount of plastic in the packaging of its own brand products and influencing suppliers, employees and customers to take an active role in this work, which is everyone's responsibility ”.

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, regarding private label products, ensuring that they all have reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging.

Food Distribution has been identified as a critical service by the Government and Sonae MC is aware of its responsibility towards the country, thus following the guidelines of the General Health Directorate and the Ministry of Economy.

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