Sonae MC leads the way in sustainability

Sonae MC has been named Portugal’s top retailer for its use of reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Annual Report, which reports on the progress across the 400 or so signatories of the New Plastics Economy global commitment.
Thu 11/02/2021 by Richard Wilkinson
Sonae MC leads the way in sustainability according to Ellen MacArthur Foundation report © Ellen MacArthur Foundation

The Portuguese retailer was also one of the best-performing global retailers among the signatories, ranking fourth in terms of the percentage of reusable plastic incorporated in its packaging (13.4%), surpassing companies like Starbucks and Delhaize.

Sonae MC ranks seventh in terms of the percentage (55%) of effectively reused, recyclable or compostable packaging, ahead of groups such as Carrefour, Marks & Spencer and Walmart.

Set up in 2018, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative is supported by the UN Environment Programme and aims to bring forward to 2025 the European goals set for 2030.The main ambitions are to eliminate unnecessary plastic objects, redesign packaging, focus on innovation so that all plastic is reusable, recyclable or compostable, and ensure that all plastic is used in a circular way and dissociated from the consumption of finite resources. For Sonae MC, the challenge is to guarantee a circular economy in which not only the life time of the material is prolonged, but also avoiding its disposal in nature or incineration as undifferentiated waste.

Sonae MC has set a 2025 deadline for all of its own Continente branded plastic packaging to be reusable or recyclable in a cost-effective way. Continente has been implementing several measures within its Strategy for the Responsible Use of Plastics, both in terms of its dealings with logistics firms and suppliers, as well as at an internal level and by raising consumer awareness. In 2020, Continente saved over 4,200 tons of virgin plastic, representing a 90% growth compared to the 2,200 tons/year announced in April 2019.

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