“Doing nothing is not an approach that changes anything”

For michael seidl, reducing gauze is not just empty talk, but a point where action is possible. The owner of the edeka store seidl is an open-minded person. It's clear that sustainability is close to his personal heart.

Since the opening of the branch in october 2013, he has therefore been committed to trying to implement environmentally friendly behavior there as well. A new feature is a small wooden shelf that can be found in the entrance area of the market between the checkout and the sliding doors. "For reasons of space, it's there for the time being, but at the same time it should naturally attract attention" says seidl about the new and special product shelf.

The organic products of grunkunft are packaged in a bio-vegan sleeve that is fully compostable and thus offers a real alternative to traditional plastic packaging. In this way, the packaging is unique so far. Michael seidl is therefore proud to have been the first branch manager in franconia to include the products of the young company in his product range.

Many of the alternatives to plastic packaging are not really alternatives at all, says the owner. Although plastic is avoided in these products, the amount of energy required for the production of so-called bio-plastics is immensely high. "This means that the whole point of sustainable production has fallen by the wayside again,", according to seidl.

Even according to the federal office for the environment and nature conservation, such biodegradable plastics are not necessarily sustainable. The hulls of the grunkunft company, on the other hand, are made from wood waste and can therefore be completely degraded.

However, the topic of sustainability is not only present at the edeka store seidl. Real is also making increasing efforts to protect the environment. Since october of last year, customers at real in kulmbach have been able to bring their own containers to be filled at the fresh food counter. That is gladly seen there.

At the same time, plastic carrier bags were banned from the store. "Improvements are constantly being sought at various levels. This also starts with reusable pallets at the receiving department", says michael peter, supermarket branch manager.

Reducing packaging is something that the rewe group has been working on for a long time. Rewe was one of the first supermarket chains to make it possible to use reusable nets instead of knotted bags, according to rewe hollweg's managing director jutta hollweg.

Political pressure is missing

Detlef zenk is head of the waste consulting and climate protection department at the kulmbach district office. In addition to public relations work or the operation of landfills, it is also responsible for providing advice on waste avoidance in the case of packaging. In his role as waste advisor, one of the things he does is to convince consumers to produce less waste in their daily lives. This includes, for example, cooperations with the savings bank, where all first-class students receive lunch boxes and bottles free of charge when they start school.

However, he sees the real problem with the often excessive packaging of products in supermarkets elsewhere. The basic idea is not to make all packaging recyclable. The product has to please the customer and look good instead. "As long as this doesn't change, we'll be sorting our way through the waste disposal system, says zenk. Without political pressure, however, little was done.

Michael seidl can at least decide for himself which options to implement in his store. The assortment of the company grunkunft, which he carries up to now, is still manageable. However, this is also due to the fact that a possible expansion depends on the offer. Since the company from wasserburg am inn has only existed for a short time, there are not yet enough products for the trade.

But that's not the only thing that is set to change in the future. Starting next week, seidl wants to gradually remove all paper and plastic bags from the fruit and vegetable department. Instead, customers can use shopping baskets in exchange for a deposit if they spontaneously want to buy more than they had planned.

For the few products that really need protection during transport, paper bags are still available in hours. The use of tare scales is also being planned so that customers can take their purchases with them in their own containers with a clear conscience. Seidl hopes that this will significantly reduce the consumption of unnecessary packaging in the fruit and vegetable department.

Waste consultant detlef zenk also considers such action to be a step in the right direction. Despite all the obstacles in the fight against mull, he says, "doing nothing is not an approach that changes anything."

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