Plastics policy

We promote the recycling and reuse of plastics. We create operating models that prevent plastics from ending up in water bodies and elsewhere in the environment.

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. 

1. Product and packaging material choices and manufacture

  • Plastic bags that end up in water bodies and elsewhere in the natural environment cause significant problems. A particular concern in Kesko’s operating environment is the littering of the Baltic Sea and large lake bodies. The aim of the EU packacing directive (94/62/EC, 2015/720/EC) is that the annual consumption level does not exceed 40 plastic bags per person by 31 December 2025. Kesko is committed to promoting the achievement of this target.

  • 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 the spring of 2017, circular economy bags will be added to the choice. Plastic waste returned to the RINKI eco take-back points by households is used in their manufacture. The development of biodegradable, vegetable-based plastic bags is also likely to provide further alternatives in the near future. Paper bags and reusable bags are available as alternatives for thin fruit and vegetable bags.

  • Paper bags currently (autumn 2016) account for around 1.5% and reusable bags around 1.5% of the sales of all different shopping bags. Kesko’s objective is to increase the share of alternative shopping bags (cotton bags, reusable bags and jute bags) and cardboard boxes of sales to 10% by 2025 with the help of consumer communications.

  • Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is the dominant plastic with a wide variety of different uses. The useful lives of the applications vary greatly from a couple of months (for example, packages) to more than 50 years (for example, building materials).

  • The chlorine, stabilisers and phthalates contained in PVC are estimated to have significant environmental and health impacts. Kesko is seeking replacement material solutions for PVC, especially for product or packaging materials that are difficult to recycle, or that are used for a short time. The packaging material of those Kesko’s own brand products that currently contains PVC will be replaced by an alternative material by the end of 2016. The use of PVC as the material of Kesko’s gift vouchers will be discontinued within 2017. The aim is also to replace the material of Plussa cards with a PVC free material within 2017.  

  • Small micro plastic particles pass through waste water treatment plants into water bodies risking to end up in food chains and household drinking water. In 2017, Kesko removed the micro plastic particles from its own brand cosmetic products.

  • Kesko’s selections do not contain oxo-degradable plastic bags and small bags because they fragment into micro particles.

2. Distribution and trade

  • There is a charge on plastic bags at all K-food stores, K-Rauta-stores, Intersport, Budget Sport and Kookenkä stores. The Athlete's Foot stores offer paper bags as shopping bags.

  • By the end of 2017, thin small bags will no longer be on display at the checkout line. They will be handed out on request for covering a wet bouquet of flowers or a package of meat with juice dripping out, for example.

  • In its procurement and distribution logistics, Kesko uses over ten million reusable plastic transport packages. This reduces the quantity of cardboard packaging waste by around 4,000 tonnes per year.

  • Nearly all of Kesko's own brand product packages have recycling identification codes. The missing codes will be added on the packages of own brand products within 2017. 

  • Kesko encourages its customers to reduce and recycle plastic waste and provides its customers with information on the matter in its communication channels and in-store communications.

  • Kesko regularly trains the K Group personnel in environmental responsibility. The training subject matter includes material choices, waste quantity reduction and recycling solutions among other things. The operations of both the grocery trade stores and the building and technical trade stores are guided by the K-responsibility concept. One of its main themes is taking care of the environment.

3. Collection and recycling; recovery of plastic waste

  • The K Group offers its customers the RINKI eco take-back point network, which is the most comprehensive in Finland. Plastic is collected at 189 plastic collection points available in connection with K-stores.

  • K-food stores receive and recycle nearly 100 million PET plastic bottles per year.

  • The plastic waste from stores and logistics is directed to reuse. In 2015, around 70 tonnes of plastic waste bales were collected from K-food stores and 340 tonnes from logistics. Kesko’s target is that by 2025, 100% of plastic waste is collected for reuse in all divisions.

  • As for its e-commerce, Kesko also 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.

The plastics policy was published on 31 October 2016.

Progress of the objectives of the plastics policy

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