Heinemann pilot project cuts plastic bag usage by 50%

3rd August, 2017 by Melita Kiely

A trial by Gebr. Heinemann to see if customers would be open to buying reusable bags has cut the number of plastic bags by 50% and increased the sale of reusable carriers by 180%.


A total of €55,000 has been collected by Heinemann stores for OceanCare projects so far this year

Tested in German and Austrian stores with support from OceanCare, a Swiss non-governmental organisation that works to protect the sea, the project aimed to help reduce the amount of plastic waste in the ocean.

Consumers were asked to pay 30 cents for each single-use disposable carrier bag at all 14 German and Austrian duty-free stores, or spend €2 on reusable bags. The project also raised awareness with travellers about the environmental pollution problems facing the world’s oceans.

“Due to the positive reception of these measures by our customers in Germany and Austria, we are currently looking to extend this to other Heinemann shops throughout the EU,” said Jens Wolf, director of retail sales Europe at Gebr. Heinemann.

“In connection with this, we are also working on a fashionable, reusable bag, to be made available at all Heinemann sites in the second half of 2017.

“We hope this will enable us to convince even more of our customers to use reusable bags, thus further reducing the use of plastic bags.”

During the first half of 2017, a total of €55,000 was collected from all participating Heinemann stores for OceanCare projects.

Vera Bürgi, managing director of OceanCare, noted that some nine million tonnes of plastic waste are released into the ocean.

“If this continues, but 2050, there could be more plastic than fish swimming in the sea,” Bürgi added.

“Gebr. Heinemann has recognised the sign of the times. By reducing single-use disposable bags and supporting our projects, the company is making a significant contribution to protecting the world’s oceans.”

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