Kappahl’s customers are continuing to use fewer plastic bags – since the industry’s One Bag Habit initiative was introduced in 2017 there has been an impressive 78 % reduction. And the profits from bags purchased by customers in stores are donated to organisations promoting sustainable development. In 2022, a total of over three million Swedish kronor was donated.
Greater use of fewer bags – that’s the aim of the One Bag Habit, an industry initiative that calls on its member organisations, Kappahl included, to charge for carrier bags in their stores. The objective is to reduce bag consumption and raise awareness of the negative impact bags have on the environment. Single-use carrier bag sales have dropped by millions since the initiative was launched in 2017. It has also resulted in large donations of profits from carrier bag sales by the members to organisations working to promote sustainable development.
Kappahl donates all the profits from our bag sales to organisations working to counter littering in our sales countries. These are the Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation, the Norwegian Retailers Environment Fund, the Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association in Finland and Our Earth Foundation in Poland.
Almost 80 % of the customers in our stores are now saying “No” to bags. Most of them have their own bags with them, often tote bags or other reusable bags. Together we have created a new sustainable habit, and the initiative has really become a sustainability win-win that makes a difference for people and the environment, says Sandra Roos, Vice President Sustainability at Kappahl.
Plastic bags still the most sustainable bag choice
All bags, even those made of paper or recycled plastic, are energy-intensive to produce, transport and recycle. When it comes to sustainability, how do we know which type of shopping bag has the least environmental impact? A life cycle analysis allows us to compare their carbon footprints*. Single-use paper bags contribute less to the impacts of littering than plastic bags. However, they often have a greater environmental impact in most other categories, including climate change, acidification, eutrophication, ozone depletion and land-use effects.
It is easy to assume that paper is more environmentally-friendly than plastic because it is a natural material. And of course that’s right, in some cases. But sometimes it’s not. When we analyse the carbon footprint of a bag, including all the manufacturing stages, we can see that a recycled plastic bag has a smaller footprint than a recycled paper bag, says Sandra Roos in closing.
ABOUT ONE BAG HABIT
One Bag Habit was launched as a joint initiative between H&M, Lindex and Kappahl in 2017 with the aim of reducing the consumption of bags and raising awareness of the negative impact that bags have on the environment. Twenty or so companies in the footwear and apparel industry are now engaged in the One Bag Habit initiative. All members commit to:
- Charge for all bags offered to customers, regardless of their material or size.
- Inform customers of the environmental impact bags have, the advantages of reducing bag consumption, and how they as customers can help to use bags more sustainably.
- Offer recyclable bags that are made of more sustainable materials.
- Donate the profits from all bag sales to causes that promote sustainable development in environmental or social issues.
- Present an annual report on their results
* A life-cycle analysis, in which Kappahl compares a recycled plastic bag with one made from virgin plastic, one from recycled paper and one from virgin paper, reveals their respective carbon footprints:
Kappahl exists to celebrate diversity in everyday life. We want to broaden the definition of diversity to include many different ways of living life – empowering people to always stay true to themselves.
Founded in 1953 in Gothenburg, Sweden, the Kappahl Group is a leading fashion chain in the Nordics, with around 360 Kappahl and Newbie stores in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Poland and the UK, and online in more than 20 markets throughout Europe.
The Kappahl team consists of some 4000 colleagues in nine countries, all with different backgrounds, ages, skills and styles. Our common motivation is to offer fashion fit for life to a wide variety of people and lifestyles. A Responsible Fashion that that feels right, for the bearer and for the world we live in. Today, more than 80% of the products are made of more sustainable materials. Kappahl’s goal is for 100% to be made of more sustainable materials by 2025 and Kappahl’s overall climate goal is to halve the value chain’s climate emissions by 2030.
More information at kappahl.com