QCOSTARICA BUSINESS- The upper-scale supermarket chain, Automercado, says it is investing monthly about ¢2.5 million colones in ecological activities, through the savings of 1.4 million plastic bags in the last year, a result of customer awareness campaign about the importance of taking home their purchases in reusable bags.
The supermarket using a “puntos verdes” (green points) campaign. “Customers who bring in their own bags or purchase products labeled with the green points, accumulate points for prizes,” explains Silvia Perez, director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Automercado.
In addition, the supermarket chain is investing in more efficient cold storage systems, one of the major expenses for the company. Another way is the reduction of harmful materials to wrap foods like sausages, meats and cheese. Cheeses are now wrapped in craft paper. Chicken, for example, is vacuum wrapped instead of using styrofoam containers.
Perez says that about 1.5% of the supermarket’s operating expenses are dedicated to environmental issues.
In 2014, the supermarkets with the nest “plastic bags” savings, in absolute numbers, were Santa Ana, Tres Rios and Heredia.