Migros says packaging protests will help develop its policy

Activists say much of the plastic wrapping on food is unnecessary and harms the environment. Keystone

Switzerland’s biggest retailer Migros, targeted on Saturday by a number of operations to protest against excess plastic packaging, says this is an opportunity to adapt to what consumers want.

This content was published on June 3, 2018 - 18:09

The “plastic attacks” in towns including Geneva, Sion, Bern, Basel and Zurich, started in the UK and have spread in recent months, thanks in large part to social media which activists often use to organize them. The idea is to invite shoppers to remove all excess packaging and dump it in caddies as they exit the store. 

“We did not put any particular measures in place,” Tristan Cerf, spokesman for the federation of Migros cooperatives, told the “Forum” programme of Swiss broadcaster RTS. “It is something that people can do all year round. Clients can leave the packaging they don’t want after paying for their goods.” 

“Our reaction is quite positive,” says Cerf. “Not everyone has the same relationship with packaging. This type of signal allows us to know what are the priorities of our clients.” 

+ Read how supermarkets have acted on plastic bags

He told RTS that Migros is already sensitive to packaging issues. “We have a bit of a head start because Migros has its own means of production, which is not necessarily the case for other retailers,” he said. 

“It’s very difficult to negotiate with Kellogg's or Nivea to get them to change their packaging for Switzerland, but since we produce most of our products, we can act,” Cerf explained. “All Migros packaging is assessed for its environmental impact, and wherever we can sell wholesale, we do.”

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