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Spain’s Carrefour supermarkets replace plastic with cotton mesh bags for fruit and veg

Carrefour is trailblazing in efforts to reduce household plastic waste with its latest initiative to replace plastic bags and wrappers on fruit and veg with reusable mesh bags.

Spain’s Carrefour supermarkets replace plastic with cotton mesh bags for fruit and veg
Photo: Carrefour

It is the first supermarket in Spain to introduce the measure at stores across Spain, having already pioneered a move that allows shoppers to bring in their own Tupperware containers to collect produce.

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The latest move available in stores as of Monday August 5th, encourages shoppers who want to reduce their waste footprint by purchasing sustainable cotton mesh bags to collect fruit and veg.

The store will sell their own version – €3.99 for a pack of three – which are washable and reusable but shoppers can also bring their own alternatives.

The food retailer has also launched its first biodegradable tray for fish and seafood and reduced the overall weight of the packaging it stores its products in.

VIDEO: 12 unique things about shopping in a Spanish supermarket

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Spain to ban plastic packaging for food and vegetables from 2023

A ban on the sale of fruit and vegetables in plastic wrapping in supermarkets will come into effect in 2023, as part of a decree drafted by Spain's Ministry for Ecological Transition.

Spain to ban plastic packaging for food and vegetables from 2023
A ban on the sale of fruit and vegetables in plastic wrapping in supermarkets will come into effect in 2023. Photo by CESAR MANSO / AFP

It also includes measures to encourage shoppers to buy loose fruit and vegetables and curb the sale of plastic bottles.

The ban on plastic wrapping for fruit and vegetables will apply to produce weighing under 1.5 kilograms. Meanwhile those “at risk of deteriorating when sold loose” will not be affected, according to Spanish newspaper El País.

The decree aims to incorporate European Union rules into Spain’s legislation, and follows similar legislation in France that will go into effect next year.

READ ALSO: This couple turned a desire for a zero-waste household into a thriving Madrid business

The goal is to “fight the overuse of packaging in the most effective way,” a ministry spokesperson told El País, adding that plastic pollution has “exceeded all limits.”

It will also aim to make 100% of packaging recyclable by 2030, as well as cut the sale of plastic bottles by half.

Rules forcing authorities to “encourage the installation of drinking fountains in public spaces”, “introduce alternatives to the sale of bottled drinks” and reduce “the distribution of single-use drinking cups” at public events, are also being contemplated.

Representatives of green groups welcomed the ban but added that the Spanish government is not moving fast enough to put a stop to plastic pollution.

“We drink plastic, we eat plastic and we breathe plastic,” Julio Barea of Greenpeace, told El País.

According to the Ministry of Ecological Transition, Spain generations 1.6 million tonnes of waste from plastic packaging every year, and recycles less than half. Two thirds of what goes to landfill is not recycled.

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