Hema goes green: no more single-use plastics from 2020

Hema goes green: no more single-use plastics from 2020

If you been to the Netherlands, even for just a day, you’ll have probably heard of the Hema, famous for its Dutch delights. Well, the store doesn’t just offer delicious treats, it is also actively taking steps to offer a more sustainable assortment of products and that means getting rid of single-use plastics.

Taking steps before the EU ban

As of 2021, the EU ban on single-use plastics will come into play, but Hema doesn’t want to wait for that. Instead, the shop will stop purchasing or having the following products made: plastic straws, confetti, plastic cups and plates, cotton buds and other single-use plastics items. This does not mean that you cannot buy similar products which serve the same purpose, cotton buds with a cardboard stick, for example, are already available in some stores.

Hema will introduce plastic alternatives such as metal and paper straws as of this autumn. This is the first step in a multi-year plan towards a more sustainable company. Once single-use plastics have been addressed, the Hema will tackle packaging and then the rest of their product range. Their goal is to reduce packaging by 25 percent in 2025 and for all plastic products to be 100 percent recycled or made from bio-plastic by this year.

The Hema’s goals go above and beyond the EU single-use plastic legislation, as by EU law it is not obligatory for plastic products to be 100 percent recycled or made from bio-plastic. This is, however, the Hema’s goal. The company want to take responsibility for its part in plastic pollution and prevent its products from ending up polluting the environment.

All about intrinsic drive

According to Hema, the choice to go green is not driven by a need to compete with other stores; it comes from intrinsic motivation. The company sees sustainability as a prerequisite for the future and thus the path they should follow.

Of course, all other shops will need to follow suit when the European law is implemented, but Hema wants to make sure they are doing all they can to reduce the amount of plastic pollution circulation. One example of this is creating a plastic cap for drinks bottles which is attached to the bottle. This then prevents the cap from being separated and ending up littering the environment.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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