Tackling Plastic Waste to Make a Change for Good
The METRO Plastic Initiative, launched on World Oceans Day 2021, has 2 key objectives:
1. Joint contributions of METRO and selected suppliers are intended to prevent around 65 million plastic bottles from entering the oceans in the following 12 months while at the same time supporting impoverished communities in coastal regions. This means stopping 1.3 million kilos of plastic waste at source – discarded on land.
2. Using the partnership with selected suppliers and METRO customers to raise awareness and promote the reduction of the use of virgin plastic while at the same time advocating for more sustainable consumption and better recycling to reduce the use of valuable resources and close material loops.
To this end, METRO is working on the one hand with the Canadian social enterprise Plastic Bank, which makes plastic the currency of the ultra-poor in impoverished coastal regions. As collectors, they receive a premium for dropping off discarded plastic waste at their local Plastic Bank and can use it to pay for essential items such as clothing, school fees or food. On the other hand, METRO partners with selected suppliers, each of whom has an ambitious strategy to reduce plastic in their own operations. A recurring promo campaign in METRO stores across 24 countries, accompanied by an omnichannel information campaign, additionally encourages METRO customers to make more sustainable choices when it comes to purchasing decisions, packaging for their own businesses as well as better recycling.
In sum, these 3 pillars of the METRO Plastic Initiative – preventing ocean plastic with Plastic Bank, plastic reduction in packaging, and more conscious purchasing and recycling decisions among customers – are intended to contribute to sustainable change.