- Through its Strategy 6.25, and with an investment of €140 million, the company’s goal is to reduce the plastic in its packaging by 25%, make all of its packaging recyclable, and recycle all of its plastic waste by 2025.
- In the last year, the company has completed the first two actions in the plan by converting all of its stores to the Store 6.25 format in under a year, a process which has required an investment of €30 million.
- The chain is implementing its Strategy 6.25 to reduce plastic and manage its waste and in under a year it has adapted all of its stores to the Store 6.25 model.
Mercadona, true to its commitment to saying ‘Yes to continuing to take care of the Planet’, in addition to strengthening its now consolidated systems for reusing and recycling commercial packaging, for the last two years it has also been developing its Strategy 6.25 to reduce plastic and properly manage its waste.
The strategy consists of six specific actions to achieve a triple objective by 2025: reduce the plastic in its packaging by 25%, make all of its plastic packaging recyclable, and recycle all of its plastic waste.
With this goal in mind, the company has already eliminated single-use plastic bags from all of the sections, replacing them with compostable bags (avoiding 3,200 Tn of plastic a year), and it has also eliminated disposable single-use plastic products, which it has replaced with sustainable household items made from more environmentally friendly materials (reduction of 3,000 Tn of plastic a year). Over the next few years, the packaging used by the company will be recyclable and the company will continue to reduce the plastic in Mercadona brand packaging in collaboration with its suppliers. The company will also provide the “Bosses” (customers) with information about recycling, which will promote and facilitate the separation of waste in stores and in their homes.
The company is adopting different strategies to reduce plastic in its packaging, such as eliminating plastic that does not add value and replacing it with other materials (as long as this does not affect food quality or safety), reducing, reusing and incorporating recyclable materials to use fewer virgin materials and drive the circular economy.
Mercadona has already introduced many changes, for example it has replaced the plastic packaging used in all of the Hacendado coffee capsules with cardboard boxes, as well as reducing the amount of plastic used in the coffee capsules themselves, which represents a total reduction of 783 Tn/year. Paper packaging is now used in the Hacendado Classic Chocolate bars instead of plastic, reducing plastic consumption by 35 Tn/year, and the sandwich bags are now made of paper instead of plastic, representing a reduction of 186 Tn/year. The whole air freshener sticks range has also been changed, and the use of glass packaging has led to a reduction of 160 Tn/year. There are many examples of ways in which the company is reducing its consumption and it is constantly looking for more sustainable options as part of its commitment to drive the circular economy and reuse materials and resources.
Examples of how Mercadona is reducing the amount of plastic used in its packaging.
The company will invest more than €140 million in Strategy 6.25, a step forward in its commitment to continue taking care of the Planet
In the last year, the company has completed the first two actions in the plan and has fulfilled its commitment to convert all of its stores to the Store 6.25 format in under a year, a process which has required an investment of €30 million.
Developing the Strategy 6.25 involves implementing changes in different company processes, from redesigning the packaging of the future in conjunction with suppliers, to adapting stores and logistics, and managing waste, and so on. In total, Mercadona plans to invest more than €140 million over the next four years to achieve all the milestones that make up this strategy.
In seven months, and despite the situation caused by the health crisis, the company has transformed all of its stores to the new ‘Store 6.25’ model, which provides the Bosses with information about recycling, new section bags, instructional pictograms on the packaging to facilitate the correct separation of waste, and new recycling bins in the sections, at the store entrances and in the Ready-to-Eat section. Furthermore, the waste management system has been improved for this new model and it has been expanded with the introduction of bins for depositing coffee capsules.
The company’s efforts to correctly manage all the waste generated in its stores is also commendable. Thanks to inverse logistics and its commercial packaging management model, Mercadona has been able to recycle 12,000 Tn of plastic film in 2020 alone, 3,000 tonnes of which has been reused to make reusable shopping bags, which prevents the use of more than 180,000 tonnes of single-use materials a year.
The reuse and recycling systems that are already in place at the company, its strategies for preventing food waste and redistributing surpluses, and its Strategy 6.25, enable Mercadona to recover more than 250,000 tonnes of recyclable materials each year. These materials are then converted back into raw materials in the production cycles, therefore allowing the company, in collaboration with the Bosses, to make efficient progress towards the Circular Economy.
Mercadona’s waste management costs during 2020.
The chain began working on the Strategy 6.25 in 2019, involving all company employees in the challenge of Continuing to Take Care of the Planet and making various processes in the assembly line more sustainable. The company has a task force responsible for coordinating all the action areas of the strategy, made up of employees from the company’s different processes, including Stores, Prescription, IT, Purchasing, Logistics, Legal, Finance, External Relations, and Construction.
The company will be providing information on Strategy 6.25 in the ‘Let’s Take Care of the Planet’ section of its corporate website, where “The Boss” can also find content on recycling, sustainability, and Mercadona’s commitment to the environment, which can also be seen in the company’s Environment Report.
Detail of the new recycling bins in the Ready-to-Eat section dining area.