Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, announced the launch of its group-wide commitment to phase-out single-use plastics across its operations by 2025. Once fully implemented, the initiative will eliminate single-use plastic bags and other unnecessary plastic.
Majid Al Futtaim’s commitment includes the removal of freely distributed plastic grocery bags from all Carrefour stores in 15 markets by 2025, as well as other single-use plastic items from across the company’s business units, inclusive of straws, cutlery, containers and trays. The company will focus on promoting reusable, sustainable alternatives that drive long-term behavioral change among its customers, suppliers and partners. The pledge comes as part of the company’s move towards the creation of a circular economy and efforts to minimize its footprint on the environment, in line with its sustainability strategy ‘Dare Today, Change Tomorrow’.
Speaking at the launch of the pledge, Hani Weiss, Chief Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim – Retail, said, “No one country, company or individual alone can solve the crippling impact that plastic is having on our world. At Majid Al Futtaim, we are committed to playing our part in positively impacting the environment, while trying to influence others to make similar commitments. By making hard choices and leading by example, we will start to see progress. Reducing our dependence on single-use plastic is only the start; we hope to create a movement amongst the partners, suppliers and customers we engage with every day to ensure collective action.”
Plastic waste is a global challenge. It is estimated that over one million sea birds and 100,000 mammals die every year as a result of their interaction with plastic waste. In the Middle East, plastics make up as much as one-tenth of the solid waste stream. Majid Al Futtaim’s pledge will see the distribution of single-use plastics phased out across all countries in which the company operates by 2025.
The scope of the policy includes single-use plastic items distributed to customers and does not include any on-shelf products typically sold at the company’s premises, such as garbage bags, detergent bottles, and cleaning products.
Majid Al Futtaim’s almost 300 Carrefour stores will take 800 million plastic grocery bags out of circulation each year. In 2017, Majid Al Futtaim started promoting reusable grocery bags across its markets, with this year’s sales of the eco-friendly bags increasing by 70%.
Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Majid Al Futtaim – Holding, said: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Majid Al Futtaim because we understand the impact that climate change is having on our world. While we have made great progress towards reducing our footprint in recent years with the introduction of our net positive strategy, the launch of our single-use plastic policy will help shift the needle by tackling one of the most pressing environmental challenges for our business and region.”