Spar Austria has announced that it is trialing two consumer initiatives to reduce plastic waste as part of its sustainability initiatives.
Spar Austria will allow customers to carry their own boxes for cold cuts, cheese and meat to the store to evade plastic coated wrapping paper, while Interspar stores are providing self-service solutions for local milk to decrease the use of tetra packs.
The retailer is trialing the packaging of cold cuts, cheese and meat at service counters in boxes with the support of tray solution in three stores in Styria. The tray solution is in line with the hygiene regulations for delicatessen.
Customers need to use boxes, which will not come into contact with the counter, scales or cutlery, helping to avoid transferring bacteria.
Spar Austria intends to carry out test until February next year. Based on the response from the customers, the retailer will further expand the trial to other Spar stores in Austria.
Spar Austria is implementing various sustainability initiatives to reduce plastic waste. Its packaging reduction program is targeting reduction of packaging and replacing plastic packaging with alternative materials, as well as turning more packaging recyclable.
The retailer had eliminated the use of plastic packaging for organic bananas 10 years back. Interspar has recently launched recyclable paper bags for loose fruits and vegetables.
Interspar stores, located in Wels and Linz, are using milk vending machines to provide fresh raw milk collected from local farmers to the consumers.
In May this year, Spar Austria has introduced reusable bags for fruit and vegetables to reduce the use of plastic bags.
Spar, through its hypermarket division Interspar, has launched new polyester net bags with a drawstring for loose fruit.
Serving as an alternative to plastic bags, the new reusable bags are said to be washable and environmentally friendly.
Last year, Spar Austria replaced the plastic packaging of enjoy sandwiches with cardboard, enabling to save 22 tons of plastic per annum.