K-food stores to install electronic shelf labels – the discarded datastrips could add up to 500 km of plastic to be recycled

Electronic shelf labels will be introduced in all K-Citymarkets and K-Supermarkets this year. The electronic shelf labels will improve efficiency, minimise price errors and save paper. The datastrips that will no longer be needed will be recycled and turned into new plastic products.

Electronic shelf labels are already in use in almost 200 K-food stores. The datastrips and paper price labels in all of the more than 300 K-Citymarkets and K-Supermarkets will be replaced by the end of 2021.

The development of store operations through electronic shelf labels serves the needs of both customers and retailers.

“Replacing datastrips and paper price labels with electronic shelf labels offers a number of advantages. The store personnel welcome the change –– there will be no need to change price labels on shelf edges manually, which will provide more time to serve our customers and keep the store in shape. Electronic shelf labels ensure that the prices on the shelf edge and at the checkout will be the same. We will also be using around 5000 kilos less paper each year,” says Hayde Furubacka, Business Development Director, responsible for the digital concept at K Group’s grocery trade division. 

New plastic products from old datastrips

In the recycling of the plastic datastrips that will no longer be needed, Kesko will collaborate with HL Display, which will recycle the datastrips into raw material for new plastic store fittings. As a result of the transfer to electronic shelf labels, K-stores may end up recycling up to 500,000 metres of datastrips.

“Sustainability is a cornerstone of HL’s business model. We recognise our responsibility to reduce the environmental impact of our operations as well as help our customers to create more sustainable stores. I am proud of our cooperation with Kesko, to recycle a major part of the datastrips and plastic holders used in stores, to produce new items made from the recycled plastic’’, says Rasmus Michelsson, Commercial Director at HL Display.

Recycling the plastic datastrips promotes the circular economy and saves natural resources as it decreases the need for virgin raw materials.

K Group promotes circular economy solutions in all its operations

The comprehensive promotion of the circular economy is one of the cornerstones of K Group’s sustainability work. The transition to a circular economy requires more efficient material cycles and collaborative innovation to find new solutions.

“We actively develop circular economy solutions in all of our operations and carefully recycle the waste we produce into new raw materials. The recycling of the datastrips no longer needed by K-stores into a raw material for the plastics industry and, as a result, into new plastic products, is an example of this,” says Timo Jäske, Sustainability Manager for K Group’s grocery trade division.

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