MONTRÉAL – Building on the range of initiatives undertaken over the years, grocery store chain Metro has released a framework to guide its teams and suppliers in the efficient management of its packaging and printed materials, including reduction and optimization.
The Packaging and Printed Materials Management Policy covers its corporate, food and pharmacy activities. This major program will enable Metro to implement practices to reduce the use of resources, limit product losses and reduce waste generation, while contributing to the global movement to tackle single-use plastics.
Rooted in two established concepts, life cycle approach and circular economy, the policy is based on the following four principles:
- Reduce the use of packaging and printed materials
- Implement optimal design
- Select eco-responsible materials
- Facilitate recovery and recycling
“This new policy is the result of rigorous teamwork and is part of our approach to continuously improve our practices. We know that there is growing interest in packaging—and plastic in particular—among many groups, including our customers. We are confident that the measures we are putting forward will responsibly and effectively address these challenges,” said Eric La Flèche, president and CEO, Metro.
In addition to implementing the policy’s principles, Metro is committed to taking action in priority areas owing to their environmental impacts and volumes:
- Reduce the number of single-use plastic shopping bags by 50 percent in Metro’s food and pharmacy banners by the end of fiscal year 2023;
- Reduce over-packaging and single-use plastics in our food stores’ fresh sections;
- Reduce the total weight of the paper used in the flyers for Metro’s food and pharmacy banners by 10 percent by the end of fiscal year 2022;
- For our private brand food packaging, by the end of fiscal year 2025:
- ensure that 100 percent of the packaging is entirely recyclable or compostable (fibres only)
- ensure that 100 percent of the packaging includes sorting instructions
- increase the proportion of post consumer materials to 45 percent
- Eliminate single-use plastic water bottles used by our employees in Metro’s administrative offices and distribution centres by the end of fiscal year 2019.
To consult the Packaging and Printed Materials Management Policy and the full list of commitments, visit metro.ca/responsibility.
Metro’s network is also taking other concrete actions. For example, since April 22, customers in Metro stores across Québec can now bring their own reusable containers to purchase fresh products—an initiative that enables Metro to reduce single-use packaging together with its customers.
“Our approach to managing packaging and printed materials has always rested on best practices and the collaboration between our teams and suppliers. With this new policy, we remain committed to ongoing improvement and innovation and are reaching out to our customers to join us in this major program,” declared Marie-Claude Bacon, vice-president, public affairs and communications.
Metro was the first Canadian food retailer to introduce reusable grocery bags in 2006.
The Packaging and Printed Materials Management Policy is in line with Metro’s corporate responsibility approach, which notably aims to adopt responsible procurement practices and manage the company’s environmental footprint.