Ecologically friendly behaviour exceptional among shopping chains. Less than half of them planning improvement

6.12.2007 - Prague

Ecologically friendly behaviour remains a rather unknown concept among the most significant super- and hypermarkets in the Czech Republic. Replacement of PVC (1) by safer plastic packages of food, system of waste separation for customers or shopping bags made of ecologically saving materials – these are absolute exceptions in the majority of big shops. Two of a little environmental measures, accepted by most of shopping chains on Czech market, are withdrawal of dry cells (accumulator batteries) and selling drinks in returnable bottles. These are results of Arnika´s survey in which we addressed 11 companies (2) which run food shopping chains in the Czech Republic. Less than a half of the addressed companies plans any changes. Companies Billa, Coop centrum and Interspar ignored the survey.

The worst results of the survey concerned Plus-Discount, which had negative replies to the most questions. Its customers cannot even return the used dry cells.

On contrary, the most ecological companies, according to the survey, are Tesco and Ahold (which runs Albert and Hypernova). Both chains put emphasize on environment – though each in different area. Tesco, one of the first shopping center in the country, started offering its customers bags made of ecological material – jute. It also gradually introduces so called recycling points and works on reduction of energy use and of emissions related to transport of goods. As for Ahold, it is gradually giving up use of PVC packages in case of food sold under its private brand. So far Ahold has replaced PVC packages of red meat.

The trio of the „winners“ of the survey is completed by shopping network Globus, which offers its customers waste separation in at least some places, bags from ecological materials and, like in the most shops, it is possible to return batteries there or to buy some kinds of drinks in returnable bottles.

„Though the survey results are rather disappointing, we are glad that at least some shopping chains work on particular measures to improve their approach towards environment. These are Albert, Hypernova, Tesco and Lidl,“ said author of the survey Ing. Miroslava Jopková who leads Arnika´s campaign „Don´t Play with PVC“.

1) Polyvinylchlorid - PVC – one of artificial materials connected with emissions of toxic chemicals during its production, use and liquidation.

2) Ahold (supermarkets Albert, Hypernova), Billa, Coop, Globus, Hruška, Interspar, Kaufland, Lidl, Penny Market, Plus-Discount, Tesco Stres. Companies Billa, Coop centrum and Interspar, refused to take part in the survey

Shopping chain System of waste separation for customers Withdrawal of used dry cells Selling drinks in returnable bottles and food packed in PVC Shopping bags from ecologically friendly material (paper, carton, textile) Other (planned) ecological measures
Albert no yes yes yes promotion of waste separation by posters; promotion of use of saving electric bulbs; reduction of volume of food packed in PVC
Hypernova ne yes yes no selling paper bags; reduction of volume of food packed in PVC; promotion of waste separation by posters; promotion of use of saving electric bulbs
Hruška no yes yes no no
Globus yes - in some of its shops yes yes yes no
Kaufland no yes yes no no
Lidl no yes yes yes introduction of containers for separated waste
Penny Market no yes yes no no
Plus - Discount no no yes no no
Tesco yes - in some of its shops yes yes yes introduction of recycling points on parking sites; use of alternative energy sources in 2 shops of its network; reduction of energy use by 50% till 2020; reduction of CO2 emissions per palett/km by 50% till 2011

Activities of Arnika are supported by grant from Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway within the Finantial mechanism of EEC and Norwegian Finantial Mechanism by the Foundation for the Development of Civil Society (NROS).


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