“It can’t be the case that every time I accidentally forget my bag at home or visit spontaneously, I walk away with a new bag,” Jasper wrote. “So again, Dad, can I return my bag full of bags to you? That way, customers who also want to visit you can automatically reuse my bags.”
According to Jasper, this will also make a difference for others to not buy all the new bags that disappear into a bag with other bags.
Supermarkets have already implemented innovations in recent years to reduce plastic use. For example, Albert Heijn already in 2021 started removing free plastic bags from the fruit and vegetable sections of the branches.
In addition, there are environmentally friendly reusable shopping bags on sale. Since this year, a deposit has also been charged for online shopping bags.
A bag filled with several bags
But that doesn’t solve the problem, according to Jasper. “The point is, these bags are often forgotten to take with you. Then you come to the checkout area and you’d rather buy a cheap plastic bag.”
This way people keep buying bags and so you get a bag full of many plastic bags in the house, Jasper says. It must and can be done differently. Reason enough for Jasper to address Albert Heine about it.
Got a lot of comments from other people. The ultimate goal of his business is for everyone to bring a reusable bag. But according to Jasper, people are often only reminded of their shopping bag when they’re already at the supermarket checkout.
This is why he argues that it would make more sense if there was a return system in there, so that new plastic bags aren’t bought and already purchased plastic bags can be reused.
Albert Heijn responded positively to Jasper’s letter and they are now partnered with his company, Studio Jawel. They will start a project with Jasper where they focus on two aspects.
On the one hand, they want to look for “triggers” so that people are reminded more often and more quickly to bring their own bags. On the other hand, they want to develop a return system to return used plastic bags, in case people forget and they can borrow one instead of buying a new one.
In four weeks they will start with the initial stage, close to the design studio. The trial will last four weeks, during which they will try it out locally first and then the aim is to present the trial nationally.
In response to RTL News, Albert Heijn spokesperson Anoesjka Aspeslagh said they have already taken measures to encourage customers to bring their own bags. Fruit and vegetable plastic bags will eventually be completely banned, and the price of ordinary plastic shopping bags has been increased, and the price of reusable shopping bags has been reduced.
They want to continue offering the option to buy plastic bags, but at the same time they also want to encourage their customers to use them multiple times. “About 70 percent of our customers already take their own bags with them when shopping. We’d like to see that percentage increase and we need our customers to help with that.”
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