Keells introduces ‘compostable bags’ for top crust bread | Daily News
Journey to reduce the impact on the environment

Keells introduces ‘compostable bags’ for top crust bread

Keells became the first retailer in Sri Lanka to make a bold commitment in July 2019, embarking on a journey to reduce by 50% in-store single-use polythene bags and prepared single-use plastic food packaging by the year 2025.

This was a major step forward in the effort to reduce the overall impact on the environment among other initiatives such as investing in renewable energy, encouraging recycling and redistribution of excess fresh produce.

The Journey commenced in July 2019 with several initiatives being implemented to replace polythene and plastics with sustainable alternatives. Compostable bags at fish, meat and fresh counters replacing the polythene roller bags, introducing paper straws at juice counters and introducing the bring your container for fish, meat and bakery products were some of the initiatives introduced in the past.

To incentivize customers, an Rs.4 discount is given every time a reusable bag is used when shopping and a range of different bags have been introduced, such as net bags for fresh produce, rice bags and other bags at varied price points to choose from giving customers options to shop with less polythene. Using environmentally friendly material for selected in-store point of sale material as well as seasonal décor has been other initiatives implemented by the Keells team going above and beyond the commitments to reduce the impact on the environment.

The latest introduction is the compostable bags for the Keells Top Crust Bread a fast-moving product. The polythene bag it was sold in has now been replaced with a compostable bag making it an environmentally friendly option. The Rs.4 discount has also been extended to customers who choose to bring their containers to purchase fish, meat and bakery items providing a further incentive to customers to shop environmentally friendly.

A limited-edition reusable bag adorned with an image reflecting the views of children for a safer and beautiful environment will be released mid-January. This was a culmination of a children’s day competition on drawings submitted under the theme a “safer and beautiful environment” and the winner’s drawings were used to create the print reflected on this limited-edition bag.

It is encouraging to witness the positive changes in customer shopping behaviour resulting in more than 40,000 customers bringing their bags to stores and a significant number of customers bringing their containers for fish, meat and bakery items. Continuous training for the Keells team is also part of a larger plan to ensure to strive and change behaviours and take all stakeholders along on this journey.

“We will continue on our journey to reduce our impact on the environment and where possible strive to go above and beyond the commitments made,” said Charitha Subasinghe, President Retail John Keells Group. We sincerely thank our valued customers for their continuous feedback, encouragement and most importantly their willingness to gradually change shopping habits and look forward to more customers and partners joining us in our journey to reduce the impact on the environment together regardless of the challenging circumstances we face at the moment as it is together such change can be achieved.

Keells supermarket chain currently has 116 stores and is a subsidiary of John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH).