We will reduce the use and promote the recycling of plastics.
Our objective is that by the end of 2025, all packaging for our own brand products will be recyclable, reusable or biodegradable.
We aim to reduce the amount of plastic in the packaging for our own brand products by 20% by the end of 2025.
We will reduce the use of plastics in a controllable manner. For many food products, plastic continues to be an excellent packaging material which protects the product effectively and helps to reduce food waste. As a light material, plastic also reduces the environmental load in logistics. Plastic is also a good material for many durables that need to be strong and long-lasting, for example, certain building materials and outdoor furniture in which plastic replaces tropical wood.
We create operating models that prevent plastics from ending up in water bodies and elsewhere in the environment.
We help our customers with the responsible use and recycling of plastics.
Plastic does not belong in nature. Plastic waste causes significant problems when it ends up in water bodies and elsewhere in the environment. A particular concern in Kesko’s operating environment is waste ending up in the Baltic Sea and large lake bodies.
We need to be able to reuse plastic waste. Recycled effectively, plastic can have a smaller total environmental load than many materials used to replace it. Together with our suppliers, we are constantly seeking new ways to add easily recyclable or reusable packaging and circular economy products to our selections. We will help our customers by making recycling easy.
- K Group offers its customers the most extensive RINKI eco take-back point network in Finland. Plastic is collected at 193 collection points at K-food store locations. Our aim is to have plastics recycling at the RINKI eco take-back points in all the other K-food store locations by the end of 2022.
- K-food stores receive and recycle some 138 million PET plastic bottles per year. The Pirkka range has 43 products in PET bottles.
- We are constantly increasing the number of own brand products made from recycled plastic. Our selections already include the Pirkka ESSI circular economy bag and Pirkka garbage bag.
- We are constantly increasing the use of packaging made from recycled plastic for our own brand products. Our selection already includes Pirkka detergent bottles made from recycled plastic.
- We are developing the multi-material packaging for our own brand products in an effort to make the separation and recovery of materials easier.
- K Group’s target is that by 2025, 100% of plastic waste from its own operations is collected for reuse in all divisions.
- In its procurement and distribution logistics, Kesko uses over ten million reusable plastic transport packages. This reduces cardboard packaging waste by around 4,000 tonnes per year.
- Kesko also recognises its responsibility as a producer in e-commerce by taking care of the collection of plastic and other packaging materials at RINKI eco take-back points and by paying the producer responsibility fees for its packaging.
- The aim of the EU packaging directive (94/62/EY, 2015/720/EU, 2018/852/EU) is that by the end of 2025, the annual consumption of plastic bags does not exceed 40 bags per person. In Finland, this means a reduction of some 40% compared to the 2017 level. Kesko is committed to promoting the achievement of this target.
- All K Group stores charge for plastic bags. Plastic, paper and biodegradable bags are priced the same in all K-food stores. An additional one cent is charged for the Pirkka Parhaat paper bag and grey Pirkka ESSI plastic bag, and paid to Finnish primary producers under K Group’s "Thank the producer" model.
- Kesko provides alternatives to plastic bags: reusable bags, cotton bags, jute bags, paper bags and circular economy bags.
- Reusable bags, biodegradable bags and paper bags are available as alternatives to the small thin bags used for fruit and vegetables.
- The small thin bags are no longer readily available at checkout, but are handed out by request for e.g. a dripping bouquet of flowers or package of meat.
- We are actively monitoring progress made in biodegradable and/or plant-based bags. In August 2018, we introduced in K-food stores a 25-litre Pirkka garbage bag made from sugar cane (75%) using wind power.
- We will develop the plastic packaging for our own brand products so that it will contain as little plastic as possible. Our objective is to reduce the amount of plastic by 20% by the end of 2025.
- We strive to prevent small microplastic particles from passing through waste water treatment plants into water bodies and thus risking ending up in food chains and household drinking water.
- Our own brand cosmetics do not contain microbeads.
- In 2018, we removed microplastics from our own brand detergents.
- K-Citymarkets and Intersport stores sell washing bags that collect as much as 99% of the microplastics and microfibres released from synthetic fibre textiles during wash. From autumn 2018 onwards, the washing bags will also be included in the selections of K-Rautas.
- Kesko’s selections do not contain oxo-degradable plastic bags and small bags because they fragment into micro particles.
- We will replace disposable plastic products with alternatives made from renewable materials.
- In 2019, we will introduce a plastic-free Pirkka Eko range of disposable tableware, and replace the plastic in Pirkka cotton buds with paperboard.
- Kespro has a range of Menu Eco disposable tableware that consists of compostable products without plastic coating. The selection is constantly expanding.
- We seek alternative materials for disposable utensils and dishes and straws at our service and take away counters.
- Kesko is seeking replacement alternatives for PVC. The packaging for Kesko’s own brand products does not contain PVC. Kesko’s gift cards are also PVC-free.
- We help K Group customers recycle and reduce the use of plastics through active communication on the issue in K Group's media channels and at our stores.
- All Kesko's own brand product packaging has recycling identification codes guiding in sorting and recycling. Additionally, Kespro's Menu own brand packaging has clear and simple instructions for sorting and recycling. Our aim is to include clear and simple instructions for sorting and recycling in all packaging for our food retail own brand products by the end of 2022.
- We will arrange recycling campaigns for household scrap plastic in K-Rauta stores and K-food stores.
The plastics policy was published on 16 October 2018.
Progress of the objectives of the plastics policy in 2020
By the end of 2020, we had reduced plastic in the packaging of our own brand products in Kesko’s grocery trade by 8% from the 2019 level. In 2020, we reduced plastics by a total of 214 tonnes.
The measures taken in 2020 are discussed further in Kesko's Annual Report.
Kesko's plastics policy promotes the below UN Sustainable Development Guidelines.