In recent years plastic became ever more ubiquitous in our daily lives - its properties provide for a wide range of uses - and in the environment poses growing, complex challenges for which we must find urgent answers. The proliferation of uses, the low sensitivity of the population to the impact generated by the inadequate disposal of plastic waste and the ineffectiveness of recycling policies and systems (either because of the low disposal rate or because, in many cases, it is difficult and costly to recycle) are some of the factors that contribute to this picture of environmental urgency.
Consequently, we will develop a response adapted to the context and geographies of each of the businesses, based on a single set of assumptions reflected in a Letter of Principles for Plastics, where we have laid down our priorities:
Identifying the amount and type of plastic we use in our operations, our products and the services we provide;
Reduce and reuse:
Reinforcing the principles of circularity in the way we manage our business, how we design and develop our services and products, avoiding single-use plastics whenever possible, favouring the reuse and repair of materials and, when this is not possible, collecting waste for recycling;
Facilitating recycling of all plastic products and packaging for which we are responsible;
The use of new plastic materials of fossil origin by including recycled material or replacing it with alternative materials with less environmental impact;
Equating use only of materials of biological origin that do not compete with food production nor promote waste of natural resources;
Promoting reducing, reusing, repairing and recycling practices;
Establishing partnerships with Universities and Research Centres, which work or are willing to work actively in the design of innovative and sustainable solutions;
Monitoring and assessment:
Continuously monitoring companies’ performance and communicating periodically in an open and transparent manner.
In the Hospitality sector, 35% of the plastic footprint, approximately 10.5 tons, corresponds to garbage bags. These bags are made of recycled plastic (90%), they are recyclable and do not contain degrading oxides.
In the Hospitality business, 12% of the plastic footprint, approximately 3.5 tons, corresponds to amenities: cosmetics and bags.
Transposing reuse models to Hospitality allowed us to address one of the main sources of disposable plastic use in early 2020: in the case of cosmetics we focused on reuse and adopted refillable dispensers. The end result was quite satisfactory since, thanks to the measure we use five times less plastic and reduced the part of single-use plastic significantly. As for amenity kits, we replaced them with recycled kraft paper solutions.
Eliminating single-use plastics
In 2019 several measures were applied across all offices of the Sonae Capital universe, related to the disposal of single-use plastics in BackOffice (namely plastic cups, bottles and plastic containers).
Such actions helped to eliminate 2.2 tons of single-use plastic.
Training and awareness raising
Training and awareness raising are paramount for implementing effectively the action plan. We invest in training our employees, and in raising the awareness of our customers for effective waste separation and processing.