K Group to remove plastic from Pirkka cotton buds – 30 tonnes less plastic per year

The plastic stems of Pirkka cotton buds will be replaced with paper ones and the plastic packaging with paperboard. Removing plastic from Pirkka cotton buds is one of the measures listed in K Group’s plastics policy, which aims to reduce single-use plastics and promote a circular economy.

Plastic-free Pirkka cotton buds will be available in stores in May/June.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to make responsible everday choices. More than 600,000 boxes of Pirkka cotton buds are sold every year, and by changing the material, we can annually save up to 30 tonnes of plastic,” says Timo Jäske, Sustainability Manager for Kesko’s grocery trade division.

K Group updated its plastics policy in October 2018, setting increasingly tight targets for recycling, reducing and avoiding plastic. One of the key targets of the policy is to reduce the amount of plastic in K Group’s own brand products and make all packaging recyclable by 2025.

Several measures to reduce single-use plastics

In winter and spring 2019, K Group will undertake several measures in line with its plastics policy.

“We will introduce new, more sustainable Pirkka Eko and Menu Eco ranges of disposable tableware.

We have replaced the plastic wrapping on counter products at Neste K stations with wrapping paper. Biodegradable fruit and vegetable bags and several types of reusable Pirkka bags made from recycled plastic will become an even stronger part of K-stores’ selection. The plastic bottles of the juicing machines found in many K-stores will be phased out and replaced by returnable ones. We are also involved in many local circular economy experiments to identify new, environmentally friendly operating models,” Jäske explains.

There are currently 204 Rinki plastic recycling points at K-food store locations, and their number is increasing all the time. The plastic recycling points of K-stores are among the best in Finland in terms of the amounts collected.

“Recycling plastic is already part of many people’s daily lives, and we want to encourage even more people to recycle their plastic household packaging. When you go shopping in a K-food store, it is easy to bring empty plastic packaging to a Rinki recycling point,” Jäske says.

Read more about what K Group is doing to recycle and reduce plastic at www.kesko.fi/plastics.
Read more about K Group’s plastics policy 

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