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A supermarket aisle

Denmark’s retail sector to work on developing sustainable packaging

Denmark’s retail sector to work on developing sustainable packaging

This will bring the country closer to achieving a circular economy

On 25 August, the Danish Ministry of the Environment announced its new and ambitious collaboration with the country’s retail industry. With this new alliance, the two bodies will work together to ensure that far more plastic is reused and recycled so that it does not end up in incineration plants.

Minister of the Environment Lea Wermelin discussed this collaboration, noting that she has already formed similar alliances with the construction, agriculture, and hospitality industries. According to Wermelin, further collaborating with the retail sector will bring Denmark one step closer to a circular economy.

What are the aims of this collaboration?

In a press release, the Ministry reports that the goal is not to remove all plastic packaging from the shelves of supermarkets and stores. Although plastic has various disadvantages, the material also has numerous benefits such as protecting products and ensuring as little waste as possible. Therefore, the primary motive of the collaboration is to find ways of using the material in a smarter way rather than eliminating it altogether.

Wermelin has already set several concrete goals, including the reduction of plastic consumption. More specifically, the collaboration seeks to realise a 50 percent reduction of certain takeaway disposable products by 2026. In addition to this, all plastic packaging must be reusable and consist of at least 30 percent recycled plastic by 2025.

Department stores join forces to find smart solutions

Beyond this, a steering group of various department store chains will work to find sustainable solutions and common designs for food and non-food packaging. Discussing the importance of joining forces, chairman of the new steering group and Executive Vice President of Coop Per Thau explained:

“On a daily basis, we compete to have the best goods. But we do not have to compete on how the item is wrapped. On the contrary, we must work together to create solutions for our climate. It is only through common standards and strong collaboration across the chain that we succeed.”

The steering group consists of 16 representatives from the following department store chains: Coop, Salling Group, Lidl, Dagrofa, Aldi, Rema1000, Elgiganten, Matas, Imerco, Jysk, Bauhaus, Schou Nordic, Orkla Denmark, Ragnsells, Faerch Plast, and Plus Pack.

To ensure the progress of the work and the collaboration of all bodies (retail industry, producers, and waste sector), the ministry has established a secretariat that will assist the steering group and guarantee the involvement of all parties.

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