The wholesale self-service store chain Makro, which eliminated the regular use of plastic bags two years ago, has decided to implement the use of bags made from sugarcane in its supermarkets.
Steps in favor of the environment
Coinciding with International Plastic Bag Free Day, celebrated every July 3rd, the Dutch-based supermarket chain is marking two years since it stopped offering this type of bag, both at checkout counters and other packaging points.
During this time, Makro has reduced the use of this material by 98.9% compared to the total usage in 2015. In numbers, this represents a saving of 19.9 tons of single-use plastic, equivalent to 760,000 one-liter bottles.
The use of single-use plastic bags causes blockages in sewer systems, leading to flooding in towns and cities during heavy rains. Their slow decomposition also affects the soil, groundwater, and nutrients. However, the worst effects are experienced by the sea, affecting marine fauna. Fish become entangled in this waste, consume it, and in the form of microplastics, it ends up in the human diet, with obvious health risks.
In 2023, Makro has decided to take another step in its establishments to minimize environmental impact by promoting the regular use of bags made from sugarcane for packing meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Durable and sustainable bags
Sugarcane bags are of plant origin, with the same strength and flexibility as traditional plastic bags but with a much lower environmental impact at the end of their life cycle. Their consumption by customers will not result in a price increase, and the goal is to normalize their use in a few months, eventually eliminating 100% of non-reusable plastic bags.
“We have the philosophy of ensuring that all the actions we take contribute in some way to the planet, as it is our only home and we must take care of it as such, for our own well-being and that of future generations,” said Nicolás Tobón, CEO of Makro Colombia. Tobón started at Makro as a salesperson in 1997 and has held the highest executive position of the brand in Colombia since the end of last year.
Makro is a wholesale chain that was founded in the Netherlands in 1968 and currently has 105 establishments in Latin America, 22 of which are in Colombia, with the rest spread across Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina. In Colombia, it has a presence in 13 cities, with sales areas ranging from 4,000 to 9,900 square meters.