To this end, we have also joined the New Plastics Economy of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in October 2018. In this international network of more than 290 organizations companies, universities, academics and financial institutions work jointly to achieve, amongst other goals:
- Innovation to ensure that 100% of plastic packaging is easy and quick to handle and can be safely reused, recycled or composted by 2025
- Enabling transfer of produced plastics into closed material cycles and increasing the production of such plastics, which can be reused or recycled and processed into new packaging or products
In addition, the #METROPlasticFighters are an important pillar of the METRO Plastics Initiative, which is deeply rooted in the company, raises awareness, educates about plastic waste and creates a growing internal task force to drive change forward. The idea behind it is simple – with around 98.000 employees worldwide, METRO has an enormous impact on the urgently needed change, starting from each individual employee and his or her relationships with our customers, suppliers, business partners, friends and family. Employees voluntarily met under the flag of #METROPlasticFighters to join or even organize e.g. clean-ups in Düsseldorf, the Ukraine or on the beach in Hong Kong. In addition, conventional plastic containers and single-use Coffee-To-Go cups were exchanged at METROs headquarters canteen and coffee bar. A sustainability fee for more sustainable alternatives e.g. reusable lunch boxes or 100% climate-neutral, reusable porcelain deposit cups are donated to the Pacific Garbage Screening project.
Packaging waste management
METRO wants to minimise waste in our own operations but also in our customers business. It is important to us to think in life cycles and promote innovative manufacturing and recycling technologies. We advise our customers on how to dispose of products and packaging. This means training employees and raising customer awareness of conserving resources, providing information about avoiding waste, and incentivising and enabling correct disposal as this decreases financial and environmental costs. Especially in countries where no national waste sorting scheme exists, local partnership and action is making a real impact in addressing and reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. Examples are the setting up of waste collection points for customers at METRO stores in Ukraine or the picking up of packaging waste at our customers premises in Myanmar.