This Thursday, Delhaize launched a “sustainability plan,” the first phase of which involves slashing plastic use by 80% in its fruits and vegetables section. The plan has three major goals: plastic neutrality; a neutral balance sheet on food waste and carbon neutrality.
After scrapping single-use plastic bags at checkout points 10 years ago, and providing reusable bags in its fruits and vegetables section, the chain has now set itself five sustainability objectives: banning single-use plastics from its stores by 2020; eliminating plastic bags used to carry products bought in bulk or available at the cashier in its supermarkets; using rPET packaging for 50% of its drinks by 2025; using reusable or recyclable material for all its wrapping and packaging; and reducing plastic use by 25% by 2025.
This “reasonable but very ambitious” timeline will be confirmed “in September 2019 when the conclusions of our experts will be issued,” the company stated.
To reduce the use of plastics, Delhaize is purchasing most of its fruit and vegetable in bulk in its 10 test supermarkets and selling them also in bulk to its customers. This will allow it to eliminate an average of 12 tonnes of plastic per supermarket each year.
To reduce food waste, Delhaize proposes to step up food collections and donations. “Whatever cannot be distributed by donation will continue to serve the production of energy (bio-methanization),” the supermarket chain said.
Finally, on CO2, Delhaize aims at achieving a neutral carbon result by 2021, mainly by making its mobility policy more sustainable and making its stores carbon-neutral thanks to technology, equipment, green energy and behaviour change on the part of its employees.