Central Retail ways to reduce plastic waste

06:00 | 22/07/2020 Environment

(VEN) - The Central Retail group, which owns the Big C Vietnam and GO supermarkets, is a member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste and it is taking specific measures to reduce plastic waste to the lowest level in its supermarket systems across the country.

central retail ways to reduce plastic waste
Khuc Tien Ha, director of the Central Retail supermarket system in northern cities and provinces, introduces eco-friendly Lohas bags

Accordingly, at GO! and Big C supermarkets, Central Retail sells non-profit Lohas bags (reusable bags) at VND8,900 for a big-sized bag and VND5,900 for a small-sized one, and encourages customers to bring the bags with them when going shopping. It also no longer sells plastic straws.

Khuc Tien Ha, Director of the Central Retail supermarket system in northern cities and provinces, recently outlined the measures adopted by his company since 2018 to address the plastic waste problem. “In April 2019, we piloted the use of biodegradable bags made from corn and potato starch at Big C and GO! supermarkets; or replaced nylon bags with bags made of green banana leaves, contributing to raising consumer awareness and responsibilities and changing their habits of using nylon bags for the benefit of the community. In addition, Big C also supported packing carton boxes of goods free of charge for customers in order to limit the use of plastic bags,” Ha said.

Big C and GO! supermarkets have shifted to wrapping vegetables in banana leaves, including celery, green asparagus, cilantro, basil, lettuce, and herbs in its campaign to protect the environment. The group also helped nearly 30 fresh and raw food suppliers to replace their plastic packaging with biodegradable materials. Producers have also replaced plastic packaging with paper for such items as organic rice and coffee sold at Big C and GO! stores.

Khuc Tien Ha conceded that the replacement material increases costs for suppliers, distributors and retailers. However, in order to contribute to environmental protection, the Thai-based group decided not to pass the increased cost of environmentally friendly packaging to consumers in order to encourage the use of such material.

In addition to reducing plastic waste in its retail and distribution systems, Big C Vietnam supermarkets have also placed garbage classification bins at its outlets and urged staff to limit the use of plastic, save energy and protect the environment. In February 2018, the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Eurocham) honored Central Retail for its environmental protection activities by completely replacing disposable plastic bottles with water filtration systems and glasses in all of the group’s meeting rooms and offices.

In order to improve people’s awareness of the need to reduce plastic waste, Central Retail sponsored five “giant fish eats plastic waste” models placed along the beaches of Da Nang during the 2019 Da Nang Environment Festival to demonstrate the damage of excessive plastic use and waste to the marine ecological system and indirectly to people’s health.

Minh Ky