K Group adopts new pricing to further reduce the consumption of plastic bags in K-food stores

The consumption of plastic bags among K Group customers has decreased in relative terms over the past year across Finland. To further reduce the consumption of plastics, K Group adopts a new pricing model for K-food stores, in which plastic, paper and biodegradable bags all cost the same.

“Our objective is that no K-food store customer chooses a plastic carrier bag just because it is cheaper. From now on, our customers can choose between three same-price bag alternatives at checkout. This way we can help reduce the use of plastics,” says Timo Jäske, Sustainability Manager for K Group’s grocery trade division. 

Plastic, paper and biodegradable carrier bags will each cost 21 cents per bag in K-Supermarkets and K-Markets, and 20 cents per bag in K-Citymarkets. Consumers can also choose from a variety of fabric, jute and reusable bags of different prices. Plastic bag purchases decreased in relative terms in all regions in Finland in 2016 and 2017. 

“Our customers are increasingly environmentally conscious in their purchases. We have a common goal to reduce plastic waste and recycle plastics. At K Group, we are constantly developing new ways to reduce the use of plastic and plastic bags,” says Jäske. 

“This spring, we have added new options to our selection of reusable and paper bags. By offering a wide variety of shopping bag alternatives, we want to make responsible everyday choices easier for our customers,” says Jäske. 

Trading sector joins forces to reduce the consumption of plastic bags 

The sales of paper bags grew by more than 20% and the sales of reusable and other alternative shopping bags by 10% in K-food stores in 2017. The consumption of small thin plastic bags decreased by 20%. Since 2017, these thin plastic bags are offered to K-food store customers at checkout only by request. 

In the K-Rauta building and home improvement store chain, the consumption of plastic bags decreased by one-fourth between 2016 and 2017. In Intersport stores, plastic bag consumption has decreased by more than 40% after the bags stopped being free last autumn. 

Onninen Express stores, which serve business customers, aim to reduce plastic bag consumption by offering their regular customers durable shopping baskets, which the customers can use to carry products to their construction site and bring back the next time they visit the store. Extra-large reusable bags are also available. 

K Group takes part in the consumer campaign launched by the Finnish Commerce Federation, the Ministry of the Environment and retail sector companies on 9 April, which aims to reduce the single-use consumption of plastic carrier bags, thus saving natural resources and reducing littering. The campaign is based on the Green Deal agreement made in 2016. K Group has committed to the agreement.* 

*The goal of the Green Deal agreement, made between the Ministry of the Environment and the Federation of Finnish Commerce on 31 October 2016, is for Finland to meet the target for reducing the consumption of plastic carrier bags under the EU Packaging Waste Directive (a maximum of 40 bags/person/year by the end of 2025). K Group has committed to the agreement along with other trading sector operators.

Read more about the Green Deal agreement

Further information:


Timo Jäske, Sustainability Manager, K Group’s grocery trade division,
tel. +358 50 529 2028, timo.jaske@kesko.fi 

Jesse Mether, Sustainability Manager, K Group’s building and technical trade division,
tel. +358 50 444 2057, jesse.mether@kesko.fi 

Read more about K Group’s actions to reduce plastics

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