ŠKODA AUTO is gradually replacing disposable catering plastics with more environmentally friendly options
t the beginning of July, a ban on marketing disposable packaging for food, beverages to go and other products in gastronomic establishments and households entered into force in the European Union. Although the Czech Republic has not yet incorporated the directive into its law, ŠKODA AUTO has been preparing for this change for a long time. And gradually, it aims to replace disposable catering plastics with organic products.
Did you know that Aramark restaurants used to consume more than 7 tonnes of plastic boxes a year?
The carmaker, in cooperation with Aramark, had been looking for new packaging in the field of bioplastics and reusable recyclable materials. Since March 2020, employees have been testing a Swiss product in the restaurants of the Administrative Centre, M2, and Vrchlabí as part of a pilot project. After evaluation and further testing, a box produced by a Czech manufacturer was selected and will be implemented in all restaurants in the Mladá Boleslav and Kvasiny during the summer. The solution took into account all the comments from employees (e.g. higher partitions between bowls) and the carbon footprint. The REkrabička box is made of fully recyclable polypropylene, which is mechanically resistant and harmless to health (certified by the State Institute of Public Health) and can replace up to several hundred disposable packages. It also boasts a long wash life. The REkrabička boxes will be available in single- and double-chamber variants, and you can get one for refundable deposit of CZK 150. For example, if you accidentally leave it at home, you can simply pick up a new one against a refundable deposit. Service charge for using of REkrabička box is CZK 3.50; during the coronavirus-related measures, this amount has been reduced to just CZK 1.00. In addition, you can take out meals in the so-called menu boxes made of sugar cane, for example. Since June, re-usable KeepCup cups are also available. They are microwave and dishwasher safe, and drinks will retain their temperature for 30 minutes longer than in disposable packages. The cups are completely recyclable and can be used in cafés and restaurants, as well as for vending machine drinks. There are currently two colour variants on offer.
However, ŠKODA AUTO has already used ecological variants in gastronomy before. In 2019, for example, it replaced plastic cutlery and beverage stirrers with their wooden variants and plastic plates and plastic bags with paper ones. This year, it replaced the pastry bags with a paper variant. ED
2019/2020 Sustainable Development Report
ŠKODA AUTO raises its sustainability goals and fully supports the fight against COVID-19
he recently published Sustainable Development Report provides a detailed overview of ŠKODA AUTO’s progress in sustainable environmental protection over the past two years, as well as information on extensive activities in the areas of social responsibility, compliance and integrity. As part of the new company strategy called NEXT LEVEL – ŠKODA STRATEGY 2030 (read more on page 4), the carmaker will further increase its ambitious goals in these areas and focus even more on the diversity topic. ŠKODA AUTO defines its sustainability goals as part of the Green Future strategy, which aims to minimise the company’s environmental footprint. Since the beginning of 2020, the carmaker has materially or thermally recycled all landfill waste generated during production. It is also taking the necessary measures to fully rely on CO2-neutral energy for production in its Czech plants within the next decade. The Vrchlabí plant has had CO2-neutral production since the end of 2020, and the Kvasiny and Mladá Boleslav plants will join it over time. As the next step, the carmaker wants to switch from natural gas to biogas by the end of this year. The environmental impact of the technologies used by ŠKODA AUTO is also being reduced. For example, the OPTIKON application determines the optimal placement of pallets in freight containers, thereby enabling savings of approximately 80 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the first half of 2020 alone.
The carmaker has also long been dedicated to sustainable regional development in the vicinity of its production plants. It supports projects in the field of road safety or barrier-free mobility. During the coronavirus pandemic, it significantly increased its support of health and social services. ED
You can read the full report, which offers a comprehensive overview of sustainability at ŠKODA AUTO, by scanning the QR code.