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News from Finland: Pirkka recycled plastic bag receives recovery award

The Pirkka recycled plastic bag received this year's recovery award, granted by the Association of Environmental Enterprises (YYL) and Uusiouutiset, the Finnish Recycling News magazine. The award is a recognition of Kesko Food's work for recycling protective plastic wrappings used in goods transport and having them converted into plastic bags for consumers. The award was now granted for the sixth time in acknowledgement of an outstanding innovative environmental management solution for the reuse of waste or secondary raw materials.

- A new plastic reuse application instead of incineration, large volumes and domestic production were seen as the best properties of the Pirkka recycled plastic bag. With this award, we want to encourage and promote environmental management solutions with which materials reuse can be increased, and the environmental impact throughout their lifecycles reduced, says Environmental Expert Pia Vilenius of the Association of Environmental Enterprises.

- Kesko Food offers its customers product alternatives with a smaller impact on the environment, especially in the Pirkka range. Approximately one third of plastic waste generated in our operations is reused in the Pirkka recycled bags. We are continuing to develop new ways to reuse plastic waste in order that in the future, we can recycle even bigger amounts as raw material for shopping bags and other products, says Kesko Food's Environmental Manager Timo Jäske.

- The Pirkka recycled plastic bag is an excellent example of Kesko Food's long-standing responsibility work, which is valued by our customers. According to the results of the responsibility survey ordered by the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper from TNS Gallup, consumers perceive Pirkka as Finland's third most responsible brand, says Jäske.

Pirkka recycled plastic bag is a pioneer in recycling

The Pirkka recycled plastic bag is 90% made of recycled plastic. 30% of this material consists of protective plastic wrappings used in Kesko Food's goods transport. The rest of the bag's recycled material comes from Suominen Flexible Packaging Ltd's factories. Lassila & Tikanoja have also contributed to the development of the bag.

- We introduced the first recycled plastic bags to the market in mid 1990s. Using protective plastic wrappings in bag manufacturing is a significant step toward higher plastic recycling in Finland, says Sales Manager Tiina Pessi of Suominen.

- Using the plastic wrappings as raw material of recycled plastic bags is true recycling and a concrete environmental action. Recycled plastic bags prove that plastics, like nearly any material, can be used as raw material in the manufacturing industry. These solutions often rely on a long-term cooperation between different companies, says Unit Manager Ville Vainio of L&T.

Photos of the Pirkka recycled plastic bag can be downloaded from
http://aineistopankki.kesko.fi/kesko_en.

Further information:
Environmental Manager Timo Jäske, Kesko Food Ltd, tel. +358 1053 28222
Environmental Expert Pia Vilenius, the Association of Environmental Enterprises, tel.
+358 40 413 6340

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