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German food retailer REWE goes unpacked for organic products, to save 290 tonnes/yr of paper, plastics

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German food retailer REWE goes unpacked for organic products, to save 290 tonnes/yr of paper, plastics

August 11, 2020 - 09:38

BRUSSELS, Aug. 11, 2020 (Fastmarkets RISI) -Germany's REWE group, one of the country's four largest food retailers, has opted for an unpacked strategy for its range of organic fruits and vegetables. According to the company, this will save some 210 tonnes/yr of plastic and around 80 tonnes/yr of paper. The move followed an extensive "unpacked test" at REWE and nahkauf stores in the federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Rheinland-Palatinate and Saarland.

"In spite of the coronavirus crisis and its effects on supermarkets, supply chains and agricultural producers, REWE is pushing ahead with its plastic reduction strategy and has reached another milestone," the group said in a statement. "In recent months, we have gained important insights into which of our 126 organic products can be sold without packaging. For many other items, we have succeeded in […] developing innovative, more environmentally friendly packaging alternatives," it added.

"We now supply all of our stores in Germany with unpacked organic fruits and vegetables or use our optimized packaging alternatives," REWE managing director Peter Maly noted. He added that REWE is planning to apply the approach to fruits and vegetables grown conventionally, too. Recently ripened avocados and mangoes, for example, will no longer be packed in trays.