Kesko accelerates the circular economy of construction plastics by being the first in its field of business to join the Green Deal of Construction Plastics

Kesko’s Building and Technical Trade division is the first operator in the trade sector to join the voluntary Green Deal of Construction Plastics. The division includes the technical wholesale company Onninen and the K-Rauta chain, which serves both consumers and business customers. The Green Deal strives to accelerate the circular economy of construction plastics by decreasing the use of plastic and by promoting the recycling of plastic in the construction industry.

The goal of the Green Deal of Construction Plastics is that the plastic sheeting used for packaging and protection in the construction industry will end up more efficiently as raw material for recycled plastic and, thus, returned back to the market. In addition, the goal is to increase the use of plastics made from recycled materials. Plastic sheeting used in construction include plastic wrapping for pallets, bubble wrap, and other plastic used for the packaging of construction supplies.

“Kesko’s K-Rauta chain and the technical wholesale company Onninen are market leaders in their field. Every day, thousands of deliveries are dispatched from our distribution centers to our customers’ construction sites and to our stores wrapped in protective and packaging materials. Joining the Green Deal initiative is an important step for us in promoting the circular economy. Our goal is to be a pioneer in sustainability within our sector. Through our own example, we want to encourage the whole construction industry to decrease the use of plastic and further enhance the recycling of plastic,” Petteri Niemi, SVP responsible for goods trade and logistics at Kesko's Building and Technical Trade division, provides some background to joining the initiative.

In the initial phase, the Green Deal will cover the plastic sheeting of construction operations and the related supply chain, which makes up most of the volume of plastic at construction and renovation sites. Thanks to the deal, plastic sheeting will increasingly be recycled and turned into raw material for the production of new plastic sheeting, returning as products back to the market.

“Already at the present time, all of the plastic sheeting used in the transports of Onninen and K-Rauta is recyclable. To accelerate recycling further, we will switch to using clear plastic only. With this measure, we want to make the sorting and recycling of plastic sheeting at construction sites easier for our customers. In addition, we are continuously searching for alternative ways to package products in a more environmentally friendly way: we promote the use of recycled plastic in packaging and further decrease plastic altogether. For our part, the plastic sheeting arriving at all our warehouses and stores is already sorted for recycling,” says Simo Halkosaari, Logistics Director, Building and Technical Trade, Finland at Kesko.

The Green Deal of Construction Plastics, which extensively covers the entire value chain, has been signed by the Ministry of the Environment and the following organizations: the Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland, the Finnish Plastics Industries Federation, Finnish Environmental Industries YTP, the Association of Finnish Technical Traders TKL, the Finnish Electrotechnical Trade Association STK, and the Finnish Hardware Association RASI. The Green Deal will remain in force until 2027. Kesko is the first business in the trade sector to join.

In its own policy on plastic, Kesko has established strict targets to avoid, decrease and recycle plastic. We have also signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.

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