Supermarket chain Spar Austria has committed to reducing plastic waste through a packaging reduction programme as part of its sustainability initiatives.
The company will focus on reducing packaging, replacing plastic packaging with alternative materials, or using recyclable packaging material.
As part of its reduction programme, the retailer is planning to avoid plastic-coated wrapping paper by asking customers to bring their own boxes to carry cold cuts, cheese and meat at service counters. The retailer will pilot the initiative at three stores in Styria.
Spar will also introduce strict hygiene regulations stating that the boxes must not come into contact with the counter, scales or cutlery to avoid bacteria transfer.
It is urging customers to voluntarily avoid the plastic-coated packaging paper to reduce plastic waste.
The test will continue until February, with plans to expand the initiative to other stores across Austria based on customer feedback.
Spar has introduced self-service solutions for local milk at two Interspar stores to reduce the use of tetra packs in Wels and Linz.
As part of the initiative, the supermarket chain will offer fresh raw milk from local farmers through vending machines. Customers need to use bottles to fill fresh milk.
Spar expects that this initiative will show a reduction in tetra pack packaging and promote regional food and farmers.
Over the last decade, the company disposed of plastic packaging of organic bananas, while it has introduced recyclable paper bags for loose fruits and vegetables at Interspar Hypermarkets.