Tesco Lotus, a leading retailer in Thailand, and Packaging Business in SCG, a total packaging solutions provider, have joined forces in an environmental protection effort using the Circular Economy concept by recycling old corrugated cartons collected from Tesco Lotus’s stores and distribution centres into paper bags. The bags will be provided to Tesco Lotus customers in place of plastic carrier bags on Thai Environment Day on December 4th, when the retailer will not give plastic bags to customers at all of its 2,000 stores nationwide.
Ms. Salinla Seehaphan, Corporate Affairs Director, Tesco Lotus, said: “We recognise the growing amount of plastic waste in Thailand and around the world and believe that swift actions are required by all parties involved to solve the problem. As a retailer, Tesco Lotus plays an important role in encouraging a positive change in customer behaviours when it comes to single-use plastic carrier bags. Tesco Group has set ‘The Little Helps Plan’ which guides the way we operate our business based on sustainability approach and protecting our environment is a part of this plan. Tesco Lotus began campaigning for customers to reduce plastic bag usage since 2010, and was the first retailer to introduce the reward system in Thailand in an effort to incentivise customers to say no to plastic bags. For the past five years, our customers have saved more than 100 million bags. Each year, we increase the intensity of our campaign. Since July 2018, we increased the amount of green points given to customers by five times, from 20 points to 100 points per transaction for every time customers refuse plastic bags. Thanks to this effort, the number of customers who do not accept plastic bags has gone up by 70%.”
“For the upcoming Thai Environment Day on December 4th, Tesco Lotus, in collaboration with the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and other retailers, will not give plastic bags across all of our stores nationwide. We encourage customers to bring their own cloth bags, or use a paper bag instead. We have partnered with SCG to make paper bags from recycled old corrugated cartons collected from Tesco Lotus stores and distribution centres, in line with the Circular Economy concept, which promotes an efficient usage of resources to their maximum value. The paper bags will be distributed to all of our stores ahead of December 4th.”
“Tesco Lotus uses the 5R strategy in an effort to reduce environmental impact caused by plastic waste. Reduce – use less plastic bags, stop the double bagging practice, or simply refuse plastic bags altogether. Reuse – reuse plastic shopping bags for other purposes or use cloth bags. Recycle – turn old corrugated cartons into paper bags. Reward – offer incentives to customers to refuse plastic bags in the form of green points, which can be redeemed for discounts and other benefits. Rebate – give a one baht discount per transaction for customers who use special edition Tesco Lotus eco-bags with a special barcode attached to the bags from December 1, 2018 until February 28, 2019. These eco-bags are available in a variety of designs and cost 89 and 99 baht. We wish to encourage customers to bring the bag with them every time they come shopping, hence the rebate barcode,” Ms. Salinla concluded.
Mr. Tanawong Areeratchakul, President of Packaging Business in SCG, said: “With rising global population and growing demands for resources, SCG focuses on an efficient use of resources and environmental protection in line with the principles of sustainable development. In addition, the company has adopted the Circular Economy concept in our business operations to promote optimal resource utilization.”
“SCG has been working with Tesco Lotus to collect used old corrugated cartons from within Tesco Lotus’s operations and recycle them into new paper using an environmentally-friendly process with efficient resources and waste management processes. The paper then undergoes another process to turn it into strong, durable paper bags, which can be recycled after use, in line with the Circular Economy concept.”
“SCG also applies the principles of Circular Economy in various aspects of our operations. In terms of product design solutions, our focus is on designing products to be user-friendly, use fewer resources, have durability so that they can be reused or recycled. Paper is also used as a replacement material for make a variety of products. We also use more recycled paper as raw materials to make new paper, while still maintaining strength and aesthetics. In terms of processes, Circular Economy principles are applied throughout the supply chain; for example, using less water and energy in our production process and using technology and application tools to facilitate data transfers between SCG and partners to improve value chain efficiency. SCG is ready to lead in driving Circular Economy from within our own organization to the wider society, customers, and consumers, in order to realize the value of the concept to drive it together. This will forge new collaborations and platforms that will in turn, improve our society and environment in a sustainable way,” added Mr. Tanawong.