Colruyt Group decides to use reusable bags for loose fruit and vegetables

Colruyt Group is the first Belgian retailer to decide to only offer reusable bags for loose fruit and vegetables. This means that Colruyt, Bio-Planet, Spar, OKay and OKay Compact will stop using single use plastic bags as of 2 January 2020 in all their stores. This will reduce the number of plastic bags used by 150 million on an annual basis. By making this radical choice we are making it easy and clear for those customers who want to make more conscious choices.

Working towards 100% reusable bags

We will therefore stop using the current single use plastic bags (in Flanders) or biobased plastic bags (in Brussels and Wallonia) and we are not going to use single-use paper bags either. Bio-Planet made the switch in June 2019, as did 23 pilot stores of Colruyt, OKay and Spar. Now it's the turn of all our other food stores. Before 1 January 2020, our Xtra customers will receive a one-off promotional set of five reusable bags free-of-charge when they buy fresh fruit and vegetables. This will make the transition easier. As of 2 January 2020, the one-off plastic bags will be permanently removed from our stores.

Reusable bag

Convenient and washable bags

In addition to the environment gain, the new bags also offer efficiency and convenience. A special feature is the barcode to deduct the weight of the bag (38 g). You will therefore only pay for your fruit and vegetables, not for the packaging. The screen at the tills will show you whether the bag’s barcode has been scanned - and therefore whether you are only paying for the net weight. Bags can easily be rinsed under the tap or put in the washing machine at 30°C to keep them clean. 

Can be used over and over again

The reusable bags that were selected are made of 100% polyester, are extremely strong and can easily carry 4 kg. The independent organisation Bureau Veritas has tested the bags and confirmed that the bags are still intact after having been used hundreds of times. Furthermore, the life-cycle analysis shows that polyester bags have the smallest total environmental impact over their entire life cycle compared to alternative products.

Read more about our LCA assessment

By reusing it nine times, our polyester bag already has a lower environmental impact than a one-time paper bag. The more we reuse, the more we can all make a real difference together. And if your reusable bag does wear out eventually, you can recycle it in the new PMD-bag. At the start of 2021, Fost Plus will have introduced the new blue bag throughout Belgium. Check here whether the new recycling rules have already been introduced in your area.

With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Responsible consumption & production Climate action