Albert Heijn is launching a new sustainable concept. Customers fill a reusable bag or jar with a product – for example, muesli, pasta, sandwich filling, tea and nuts – and go home with a lot less disposable packaging. AH Verpakkingsvrij is introduced at the recently renovated AH XL at the Argounatenweg in Hillegersberg.
The new concept consists of six meters of packaging-free assortment in smart dispensers. It consists of 70 products, from breakfast cereals and sandwich fillings to dinner ingredients such as pasta and rice. From the dispensers, customers can fill their own reusable packaging or buy a reusable pot or bag on the spot. Customers first weigh the packaging without product, then fill it with one of the products. Next customers print a label for checkout. In order to make shoppers enthusiastic about packaging-free shopping, cards have been placed next to packaged products in the shop, such as nuts and rice, to draw their attention to the fact that these products are also available without packaging.
Around eighty percent of the range is organic, including a number of special products such as Fonio, an African cereal, and organic coffee beans.
Albert Heijn encourages a healthy lifestyle
The Albert Heijn XL in Rotterdam is the first to introduce the new concept. For the introduction, Albert Heijn is working together with SUPZero, an organisation that guides companies through the transition to waste-free concepts.
Marit van Egmond, CEO Albert Heijn: “Together we make better food accessible to everyone, that is what we stand for at Albert Heijn. We encourage a healthy lifestyle and want to leave the earth in a better condition. We do the latter by, for example, continuously looking at whether we can use less packaging material. The great thing about this concept is that customers can simply take their products home in their own, reusable packaging. You can also pack exactly the amount you need. In this way, together we ensure less waste.”
Elisah Pals, founder of Zero Waste Netherlands, is pleased with Albert Heijn’s initiative: “We must move away from the throw-away society. Separating waste at home is good, preventing it when shopping is even better. That is an immediate environmental benefit. I hope that we will soon be able to do our shopping in more shops without packaging.
Albert Heijn wants to use twenty million kilos less packaging material by 2025. Also, all own-brand packaging must be 100% recyclable by that time. In recent years, almost ten million kilos of packaging material has already been saved. By using no, less or different material.
Cover: Yasmin Hargreaves Photography