In The Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development, different operators pledge themselves to promoting sustainable development in their work and operations. Kesko joined The Society’s Commitment and published its first two commitments in September 2015.
The objective of Kesko’s third commitment is to reduce the consumption of plastic bags in K-stores. In the background of the objective are the voluntary actions agreed by the Ministry of the Environment and the Finnish Commerce Federation to ensure that the targets for the reduction of the use of plastic lightweight carrier bags set in the EU packaging waste directive are achieved also in Finland. Kesko is committed to the EU’s target that the annual consumption is no more than 40 plastic bags per person by 2025.
Aim is to increase the share of alternative shopping bags
At the beginning of 2017, retail plastic bags will be subject to a charge at all K-Group food stores, building and home improvement stores, agricultural and machinery stores, as well as furniture stores.
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.
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 manufactured by Amerplast Ltd will be added to the choice. Plastic waste returned to the RINKI collection points by households is used in their manufacture.
Active communications in customer channels and stores are used to increase the awareness of the environmental impacts of plastic waste, reduce the consumption of plastic bags, increase the use of alternative solutions, such as reusable bags, paper bags and cotton bags, as well as increase plastics recycling.
Material solutions to replace PVC and micro plastic particles to be removed from own brand cosmetic products
In accordance with its plastics policy, Kesko promotes the recycling and reuse of plastics. Kesko creates operating models that prevent plastics from ending up in water bodies and elsewhere in the natural environment.
The chlorine, stabilisers and phthalates contained in the widely used polyvinyl chloride, or 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 to replace the material of Plussa cards with a PVC free material within 2017.
Small micro plastic particles contained in cosmetic products pass through waste water treatment plants into water bodies risking to end up in food chains and household drinking water. Kesko will remove the micro plastic particles from its own brand cosmetic products within 2017. Kesko’s selections do not include oxo-degradable plastic bags or small bags because they fragment into micro particles.
Kesko's plastics policy statement
The Society's Commitment to Sustainable Development