Plastic bags cause significant 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. In 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.
There is a charge on plastic bags at all K-food stores, K-Rauta-stores, Intersport and Budget Sport stors. The Kookenkä stores will have a charge on plastics bags from the beginning of 2018. The Athlete's Foot stores offer paper bags as shopping bags.
By the end of 2017, 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 packaging 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.