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O’KEY Group S.A. (LSE, MOEX: OKEY, the “Group” or “Company”), one of Russia’s leading food retailers, has started offering its customers a new bio-bag that completely biodegrades after one year, in a pioneering move for Russian food retail. This type of packaging is the unique biodegradable solution available from a Russian food retail chain. 

Thanks to a special additive from the UK’s Polymateria, which is added to PE bags during production, the new plastic fully biodegrades after one year. Under normal conditions, a regular virgin plastic bag takes hundreds of years to decompose, causing irreversible damage to the environment. The new bio-bag is in no way inferior to its traditional counterparts in terms of quality and strength, and it is completely safe for food contact.

The Company launched the eco-initiative «O’KEY Goes Green» in Q1 2020, when it fully stopped selling plastic shopping bags at the checkout, replacing them with bags made from biodegradable corn starch and fully recycled plastic, as well as offering customers a range of reusable alternatives in many shapes and sizes, including stronger paper bags, tote bags made from cotton and jute, and shoppers made from nylon and PVC. Later in 2020, the Company also introduced reusable bags for loose products, fruits and vegetables as an alternative to single-use plastic bags.

"O'KEY Goes Green" programme is already showing promising results. At more than 80 million units, the amount of eco-friendly bags sold in 2020 matched the amount of traditional bags sold in the previous year. This suggests that our customers jumped at the opportunity to buy eco-friendly bags, despite the fact that they are more expensive than their harmful, virgin plastic counterparts previously offered by the chain.

Armin Burger, Chief Executive Officer of O`KEY Group, said:

“O'KEY is a socially responsible business which promotes conscious consumption. While still caring for the environment, it is also important to present customers with a choice, hence why we have significantly expanded our range of packaging options available. We will continue to focus on this area, building relationships with producers who share our environmental values.”