Lidl Cyprus to end sale of single-use plastics next year
Lidl Cyprus has pledged that by the end of 2019 it will stop the sale of single-use plastics such as straws, cups, plates, cutlery and cotton buds in all its 17 stores on the island.
The German budget supermarket chain also promised that products made from alternative and recyclable materials will replace the single-use variety.
Lidl says it will also set a target “to abolish and adapt straws which are also sold in the category juices, soft drinks and other drinks.”
This is part of a global strategy to reduce the use of plastics by 20% by 2025.
For example, Lidl has vowed to crack down on plastic waste in the UK, by removing reusable plastic bags from shops – a move that it says will eliminate 134 tonnes of plastic each year.
It has set goals around increasing the amount of recycled materials used for its own-brand packaging, with a target of 50% by 2025.
“Our policy on plastic is led by a clear approach which is summarised in the threefold action: avoid, reduce, recycle. By abolishing single-use plastics we avoid the use of plastic, thus contributing to reaching the goal our company has set for the reduction of plastics,” Lidl Cyprus Purchasing Manager Petros Petrou said.
He said that Lidl plans to sell off all the quantities of plastic products it has purchased from its suppliers and then gradually introduce alternative items.
“That way, our customers will continue to be able to find the products they are used to,” Petrou said.
Lidl Cyprus boasts a number of initiatives to reduce plastic in an eco-friendly approach to business.
It claims to be the first supermarket to stop selling its disposable plastic bags from January 1, 2019.
And during the financial year 2017 – 2018, it removed plastic sub-packaging from items in the toilet paper category, “saving 10 tonnes of plastic material”.
Petrou said that Lidl is looking at different ways of dealing with packaging “which can really make a difference”.
Underpinning Lidl’s current initiative is a new law – effective since July 1 - that obliges supermarkets and other shops to charge customers for plastic carrier bags.
The directive introduces a five cents surcharge on every plastic bag given for carrying goods at cash tills, at all outlets including pharmacies, kiosks, bakeries and specialty stores.
Small nylon bags and bags used to hold fruit, meat, or vegetables are not charged.
It was supposed to begin six months earlier, when January was the deadline set by the European Union.
To avoid paying for bags, shoppers can take their own with them or use other types of non-plastic or bio-degradable bags that can be bought at supermarkets.
Money collected from plastic bag tariff will go to a special fund operated by Green Dot and managed by the Department of the Environment to be invested in public environmental awareness campaigns.
The world is currently producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic each year - a large amount of which will end up in the oceans.
Although plastic is a useful product, many of these products are created for single-use - with an estimated 50% of plastic used once and thrown away.
Not only is this harmful to the environment and the oceans, but it is also harmful to wildlife - where it impacts nearly 700 species in the ocean, and humans.
Ingesting plastic has life-threatening effects on wildlife - and this plastic eventually ends up being digested by humans.
And half of all plastic manufactured becomes trash in less than a year