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Latest steps in the plastic reduction strategy of this retail company

Germany: REWE now only sells unpackaged bananas

Soon there will be no more bananas wrapped in plastic film available in the more than 3.300 REWE stores nationwide. Product information will then be found on adhesive labels or banderoles. As REWE supplies bananas from various brand companies, private label producers and suppliers - in line with the different needs of the customer - the complex conversion to unpackaged goods took several years.

It all started with organic bananas, which since 2013 have been offered more often without protective foil. The amount of plastic saved this way adds up to more than 192 tons. Now all packaging of bananas will be terminated in order to further the company’s sustainability goals. This will result in the elimination of an additional 85 tonnes of plastic foil used annually.

No more plastic bags for bananas - Photo: Rewe

With the discontinuation of the plastic bag, REWE emphasizes that it continues to take further steps to reduce plastic waste. Since then, the Group has been working on various plastic avoidance initiatives in its assortments - which includes fruit and vegetables. The aim is to ban any unnecessary packaging from the shelves whenever there is no significant contribution to maintaining the quality of the produce or whenever packaging is not required by law. Of course, customer acceptance remains essential. Wherever packaging has indisputable protective and quality-preserving functions, REWE is pushing ahead with plans to replace plastic with contemporary alternative materials.

The creativity behind solutions tested or implemented by REWE becomes apparent when we look at novelties like ‘Natural Branding’. In this process REWE Organic Avocados and REWE Organic Sweet Potatoes are provided with a logo and product information through the use of a bundled light beam. In addition, REWE Organic Apples are packaged in a novel material consisting of 40 percent sun-dried grass and only 60 percent wood.

Source: REWE Group

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