Spar Eliminates Single-use Plastic Bags for Good

Recycling

Starting this month, only biodegradable bags will be available in the fruit and vegetable sections of Spar and Interspar stores nationwide, eliminating single-use plastic bags from the chain for good.

The new biodegradable bags were first tested in nine Spar and Interspar stores in the town of Tatabánya in April, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal. Customers were also offered the opportunity to buy fruit and vegetables using their own packaging material or even without packaging.

"The successful four-week trial run in Tatabánya proved that our customers also support our group's green philosophy and join our sustainability initiatives, for example by using environmentally friendly packaging materials or buying fruit and vegetables without packaging. Thus, from August 1, 2022, we are switching to biodegradable, reusable bags, which can be purchased for a symbolic amount of HUF 15, in all our fruit and vegetable departments in all Spar stores nationwide. When paying at the self-service checkouts, customers will be able to indicate themselves whether they are using a bag bought in-store or brought from home," said Marek Maczelka, Spar Magyarország's head of communications.

He added, "It's a telling figure that customers used an average of 250 million of the previous standard 7-micron roll bags in Spar stores every year, which together weighed 450 tonnes, so the changeover will reduce the amount of plastic used by that much."

The new bag material is more flexible, making it more resistant to heavier weights. Unlike the traditional version, the product is biodegradable and can even be composted at home. The new bags are more absorbent than their conventional counterparts and are not recommended for home storage of bakery products, as the food inside will dry out more quickly.

In the chain's bakery departments, paper-based packaging has already replaced the former plain plastic bags.

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