The supermarket chain REMA 1000 and Euro Pool System continues their close cooperation and will soon take the first steps in a fully automated washing installation. The washing installation must clean and recycle the 16 million plastic containers that are used annually by the chain for fruit and vegetables.
Every day, fruit and vegetables are transported in more than 40,000 green plastic bins from the warehouses of REMA 1000 to the supermarkets, where they are displayed in the fruit and vegetable department.
REMA 1000 has been working for a number of years with the European Euro Pool System, which specialise in recyclable plastic trays for supermarkets. Euro Pool System has customers in 30 countries and their 71 service centers ensure the delivery of fresh goods to supermarkets in Europe.
The green plastic trays, which are already being used by REMA 1000, are stacked after use and sent to Euro Pool Systems washing installations throughout Europe for cleaning. They can then be filled with fresh fruit and vegetables. If they cannot be reused, the bins are recycled to make new bins.
Euro Pool System states that their way of cleaning and reusing is better for the climate than working with containers that can only be used once. After a test period, REMA 1000 and Euro Pool System have now opted to permanently bring the technology to Denmark.
Ole Thomsen, logistics director at REMA 1000: “It is of course more logical to have an installation in your own country instead of transporting the bins throughout Europe. We have had a temporary washing facility in Vejle since December 2018, but due to our growth and the phasing out of disposable packaging, we now prefer a permanent solution. The bins have a lifespan of approximately 15 years. They are then granulated and the plastic can be reused. "
The factory is 18000 square meters in size and is close to the main REMA 1000 warehouse in Horsens, in central Jutland. REMA 1000 is responsible for the construction of the new plant, while Euro Pool System invests in the technology and builds the washing installations, which can process more than 50 million plastic containers per year. This ensures that other companies, which also work with reusable plastic trays, can also use this factory.
The factory is also large enough for a new return terminal. Returnable packaging and recyclable cardboard and plastic from REMA 1000 supermarkets from all over the country can be collected there. The start of construction of the new plant is planned for early 2020 and the plant is expected to be ready by the end of summer 2020. By that time, REMA 1000 also expects to knock on the doors of the 350 stores in Denmark.
REMA 1000 has chosen Ajcon Entreprenør-og Ingeniørfirma A/S as a partner in this project. Ajcon Project is responsible for the entire construction of the factory which also includes designing the factory.