Sustainability: Christmas and recent initiatives

Date : 17 November 2020

Lucy Bellotti

Retail Analyst

SPAR Italy has introduced more environmentally friendly products to its DESPAR Scelta Verde EcoLogico range, as Spain’s Mercadona sets new standards for its sustainable stores. Separately, UK-based Co-op has eliminated plastic and glitter from its entire Christmas range.

SPAR Italy expands its green private label range

DESPAR Italia has added more products to its DESPAR Scelta Verde EcoLogico brand. The range includes only products that have a low environmental impact and have been Eco Label Certified. The retailer introduced several products including:

  • A tissue range made of 100% recycled material and packaged in Mater-bi, which is biodegradable and compostable
  • Plates and glasses made with materials from natural origins. The vegetable fibre plates are biodegradable and compostable
  • The retailer’s disposable cups for hot beverages are made of CPLA, a bioplastic resistant to hot temperatures

Source: SPAR Italy


DESPAR Italia’s brand manager, Michela Cocchi, stated, ‘We believe this eco-friendly approach can meet the preference of our customers, who are increasingly aware of the environmental footprint.’

Mercadona’s sustainable store format

Mercadona has reached a new milestone in its sustainability achievements. The retailer has opened 72 stores across Spain and Portugal, at which the consumption of plastic has been heavily reduced, and recycling has been strongly increased.

Mercadona has embedded its sustainability strategy, reducing its plastic consumption, and decreasing its waste. Mercadona’s Gijón store showcases the initiatives implemented to achieve it strategy including:

  • The retailer offers shoppers a choice of three bags at its checkout. Paper, recycled/reusable, and raffia (made of 70% recycled material) bags
  • Mercadona has eliminated plastic from items such as avocados, corn, limes, and cherry tomatoes
  • It has installed containers to allow for the separation of waste for both staff and shoppers
  • The retailer has also reduced the amount of plastic packaging on items and some products will be packaged with 100% recycled plastic

Co-op removes plastic and glitter from its Christmas range

Co-op has removed plastic and glitter from its Christmas range, eliminating eight tonnes of plastic in the process. The retailer has introduced alternative solutions to increase recyclable materials including:

  • Switching the toys in its crackers to fun games and gifts made of recyclable paper and metal. This step removed 1.3 tonnes pf plastic
  • Using plastic-free cracker barrels, the removal of plastic windows in card boxes, while crackers are completely glitter-free, which reduces the impact of microplastics
  • Christmas cards, wrapping paper, and gift bags have switched to metallic ink and use less foil, making them 100% recyclable

Source: Co-op

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