The desire for convenience and the desire for sustainability is a classic dilemma: the demand for so-called convenience products, which can be consumed quickly and easily on the go "straight out of the package" is growing steadily. But the problem is that most single-use products made of plastic as well as their packaging are only in use for a few minutes and are then discarded – at best, in a recycling bin, but at worst, in the environment.
We responded to that challenge and already de-listed a number of single-use plastic products by the end of 2019 (well before the EU ban came into force). One prominent example is the disposable plastic carrier bag. However, drinking straws, cotton swabs and disposable cutlery made of plastic have also been de-listed in all Lidl and Kaufland stores worldwide and have been replaced with more sustainable alternatives.
New Solutions Combine Convenience with Environmental Protection
We also pay close attention to the area of convenience food. When equipping our service counters and snack bars at Kaufland, we pay particular attention to the sustainable use of consumables and disposable tableware and examine ways in which we can do without them. We also test the use of alternative materials as well as options for switching to reusable solutions.
These steps have paid off: by de-listing single-use plastic products such as disposable tableware, drinking straws and cotton swabs, we eliminate over 4,000 tons of plastic a year across the entire Schwarz Group.