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Carrefour to eliminate single-use plastic by 2025

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on November 5, 2019 | Last updated on November 5, 2019 at 07.41 pm
Majid Al Futtaim, Carrefour, shoppers, eliminate, single-use plastic, 2025, reusable, grocery bags
The new pledge will also eliminate plastic carry bags for fruits and vegetables.- Supplied photo

Single-use plastic items will not be given to customers, excluding the on-shelf products for sale.

Retail and real estate conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) will start phasing out single-use plastics by the end of this year and eliminate them altogether across its operations by 2025.

Senior officials with the retail giant on Tuesday, November 5, said that single-use plastic items will not be given to customers, excluding the on-shelf products for sale.

The company is also in the process of rolling out incentives for customers who avoid plastic bags, including points on Carrefour's loyalty programmes. A major drive to educate shoppers of MAF outlets will also be launched by the brand, since customers are largely unaware of the massive impact of plastic pollution on climate change.

The decision will impact 26 malls, 13 hotels, 46 VOX Cinemas and more than 285 Carrefour stores across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. It will take 800 million plastic grocery bags out of circulation each year. In 2017, Majid Al Futtaim started promoting reusable grocery bags across its markets, with this year's sales of the eco-friendly bags increasing by 70 per cent.

Ibrahim Al-Zu'bi, chief sustainability officer, AMF-Holding, said: "Last year, MAF shopping malls welcomed 192 million visitors and it is estimated that if each one of those visitors took home just two Carrefour plastic bags, that would total more than two million kilogrammes of plastic waste."

The company hopes the new strategy will inspire competing retailers in the region.

A small price to pay

The move will also eliminate plastic carry bags for fruits and vegetables, replacing them with reusable cloth bags. However, each bag will be priced at Dh2.50.

Hani Weiss, chief executive officer at MAF-Retail, pointed out: "The decision includes removal of freely distributed plastic grocery bags from all Carrefour stores in 16 markets by 2025, as well as other single-use plastic items from across the company's business units, inclusive of straws, cutlery, containers and trays.

"The company will focus on promoting reusable, sustainable alternatives that drive long-term behavioural change among its customers and suppliers. The programme will be extended to MAF online retail operations as well."

Refuel detergent liquid

The scope of the policy includes single-use plastic items distributed to customers and does not include any on-shelf products typically sold on the company's premises, such as garbage bags, detergent bottles, and cleaning products.

However, the company, in partnership with external service providers, has also opened re-fuel stations for detergent liquid in select Carrefour stores.

Loyalty points for reusing bags

Customers of MAF lifestyle rewards programme, Share, who purchase a Carrefour reusable shopping bag on November 6 or 7, will receive their money back through Share points. Plans are also underway to introduce an initiative where customers who shop with their reusable bags will receive even greater Share rewards.

In addition, Majid Al Futtaim has also committed to becoming Net Positive in carbon and water by 2040 and has joined the United Nations Environment Programme to collaborate on resource efficiency and sustainable development.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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