K-Market Ruokakippari’s retailer Mikko Järvi hopes that the change will lead to a reduction in the bags’ consumption. “Finns consume 950,000,000 of these bags each year. Most of them end up in trash, and are hardly ever reused. I’ve noticed people also use the bags unnecessarily for fruit that will be peeled, such as bananas and apples,” says Järvi.
K-Market Ruokakippari charges 5 cent per bag, regardless of what customers use the small bags for. The store also offers paper and biodegradable bags as alternatives.
Järvi cites the many problems related to plastic bags: their manufacture takes up enormous resources, their useful life tends to be relatively short, and if the bags end up in nature, they take a long time to decompose.
“Plastic becomes very harmful when it ends up in nature and waterbodies, it is clearly the biggest environmental issue related to plastics. We must adopt new measures to reduce the use of plastics and change consumer behaviour” says Järvi.
K-Market Ruokakippari will donate the proceeds from the sales of the small plastic bags annually to the John Nurminen Foundation, known for its Clean Baltic Sea projects, which aim to reduce the environmental load on and risks directed at the Baltic Sea.
“I chose the foundation based on their long history of working towards helping the Baltic Sea,” explains Järvi.