Changes in K Group’s packaging cut plastic consumption by over 100 tonnes per year

During 2019, K Group has been making changes to the packaging of its own brand products, significantly reducing the amount of plastic. The change in the packaging of Pirkka mini plum tomatoes alone will save 45 tonnes of plastic per year, equal to 2.1 million plastic bags. The changes to packaging are one of the ways in which K Group is implementing its plastics policy to reduce the single use of plastics and promote circular economy.

In addition to the mini plum tomatoes, K Group has reduced the use of plastic in other packaging as well. By wrapping Pirkka tulips in paper, we save 4 tonnes of plastic per year, equalling over 190,000 plastic bags. Fresh snacks at Neste K stations are also now wrapped in paper instead of plastic. K Group’s foodservice wholesaler Kespro now packs almost all of its own brand Menu spices in cardboard, saving over 6.5 tonnes of plastic per year.

K Group has also introduced deposits to Pirkka juice concentrate bottles, which means some 40 tonnes of plastic returned and recycled annually. We will gradually introduce deposits also to bottles for freshly squeezed juice.

“Overall, we have reduced the use of plastic in the packaging of our own brand products by more than 100 tonnes this year, and our efforts continue. For example, next spring we will remove plastic caps from Pirkka milk beverage packaging,” says Timo Jäske, Vice President, Sustainability for K Group’s grocery trade.

”We are developing packaging and testing circular economy solutions in close cooperation with various operators, as we find that collaboration produces the best results. We seek partners who actively strive to find solutions instead of watching from the sidelines,“ says Jäske.

All reusable Pirkka shopping bags are made from recycled plastic 

Measures to reduce plastic consumption and increase plastics recycling respond to customer expectations and are also part of K Group’s systematic efforts to reduce its environmental load.

”We make the recycling of household plastic easier with more than 200 Rinki eco take-back points for plastic at K-food store locations. Annually, we use over 700 tonnes of plastic returned to the eco take-back points in the manufacture of our ESSI circular economy bags,” says Jäske.

All reusable Pirkka shopping bags have been made from recycled plastic since the beginning of 2019. This has cut the use of fossil plastic by some 100 tonnes, equal to 4.8 million plastic bags, this year.

K Group updated its plastics policy in October 2018, setting even tighter objectives for reducing the single use of plastics and for promoting circular economy. One key objective is to reduce the amount of plastic in the packaging of K Group’s own brand products and make the packaging recyclable by the end of 2025.

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