Coop Italia has underscored its commitment to eliminating all packaging made from virgin plastics by 2022 in its fresh food offer, including fresh fruit and vegetables.
The supermarket chain has also unveiled a new marketing campaign designed to tell millions of shoppers in Italy about its fresh produce packaging, spotlighting its recently launched Coop Origine branded offer with the slogan ‘Not just content, but also container’.
Speaking to Italiafruit News, Coop’s fresh food manager Claudio Mazzini said the company was committed to meeting new European regulations banning single-use plastics and microplastics around eight years ahead of a compulsory EU deadline in 2030.
“In general, in four years’ time all of Coop-branded product packs will be packaged using fully recycled materials,” he revealed.
“From the end of 2018, the packaging used for 78 of our branded fruit and vegetable products will already be recyclable or reusable. By 2019, that will also be the case for our Vivi Verde range. As a result, this year we will save 960 tonnes of plastic and in 2025 the saving will rise to 6,400 tonnes.”
Coop remains Italy’s leading retailer of loose fresh fruit and vegetables, Italiafruit noted. However, Mazzini said he did not believe an entirely loose offer was the only possible answer to the currently escalating debate around plastic packaging.
“Investements are needed in the area of innovation and incentives to encourage good practice,” he commented. “We have taken another step forward, involving four of the big packaging companies – Ilip, Infia, Carton Pack and Nespak – because they have noted firsthand the need for changed.”
He added: “Together, we are now trying out new packaging formats that combine the requirements of the product they contain with those of the environment. In other words, solutions that talk to the consumer’s mind, not their heart, without taking any shortcuts.
“Packaged products, moreover, will continue to exist, because the plastic guarantees better storage and protects the goods. For that reason, as of September, Coop’s fresh fruit and vegetable trays contain a minimum of 80 per cent recycled PET.”