Sonae MC is leader in the use of sustainable packaging

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Annual Report, which reports on the common progress to the approximately 400 signatories to the global New Plastics Economy commitment, states that Sonae MC has one of the best results in the world among subscribers and the best result among all retailers that operate in Portugal.

Sonae MC is the 4th company with the highest percentage of reusable plastic already incorporated in its packaging (13.4%) - surpassing companies such as Starbucks and Delhaize. The report also shows that, of all the signatories, the Portuguese group is the 7th retailer with the highest percentage (55%) of packaging actually reused, recyclable or compostable - ahead of groups such as Carrefour, Marks & Spencer and Walmart. In the national scenario, Sonae MC leads the market in the percentage of reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy initiative is supported by the United Nations’ Environment Program and is signed by more than 400 organizations worldwide that share the same view: that plastic does not become waste. Pointing out possible solutions, this commitment, created in October 2018, serves as the basis for the definition of concrete goals adapted to the reality of each partner, according to common objectives: to anticipate by 2025 the European goals established for 2030. In a phased manner, the main ambitions of this global commitment, are to eliminate unnecessary plastic objects, redesign packaging, invest in innovation so that all plastic can be reusable, recyclable or compostable, and ensure that all the plastic we use is used in a circular manner and dissociated from the consumption of finite resources. In this report, the foundation shares the progress that the nearly 400 signatories to the New Plastics Economy commitment have made in defining a circular economy for plastics.

Sonae MC’s position in relation to plastic is clear: this material represents numerous advantages, in relation to others, with regard to the protection and preservation of products, both in economic terms and in the environmental footprint. The challenge, at the moment, is to promote its responsible use - eliminating excessive use and promoting separation and recycling - and to guarantee a circular economy in which, not only the lifespan of the material is prolonged, but its deposition in nature (in soils, rivers and oceans) or in incinerations, as undifferentiated garbage, is avoided.

One of our major commitments is to precede by 2025 the ambition defined by the European Union for 2030, that all Continente’s private labels’ plastic packaging placed on the market are reusable or can be recycled in an economically efficient way.

Continente has been implementing several measures within the scope of its Strategy for the Responsible Use of Plastics, counting on a multidisciplinary and transversal working group focused on the development of very concrete solutions for a more responsible use of this material, from a private label, logistics and suppliers level, up to the internal level and also consumer awareness. This commitment aims to promote circular economy, namely to reduce the use of natural resources and to promote recycling, and to find economically viable alternatives to single-use plastic.

In 2020, Continente has already reached a savings level of over 4.2 thousand tonnes of virgin plastic per year. This value represents a growth of 90% in relation to the 2.2 thousand tonnes/year announced in April 2019 on the platform.

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