Pilot project on environmental protection: Heinemann Duty Free relies on reusable bags and supports the marine conservation organisation OceanCare

Wädenswil/Hamburg, January 2nd, 2017. Palm trees, white sandy beaches and turquoise sea – this is the epitome of a dream holiday for many passengers. However, the oceans and their inhabitants are suffering from increasing plastic pollution. Therefore, last year the European Union demanded an 80% reduction in the consumption of plastic bags by 2020. Gebr. Heinemann is pleased to contribute to this and also wants to make a mark for more sustainability and the reduction of plastic waste. For this reason, since 1 January 2017, we have only been able to provide disposable bags at all 14 German and Austrian Heinemann Duty Free sites at a price of 30 cents. The proceeds are donated to the international marine conservation organisation OceanCare. As an more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bags, passengers can purchase reusable bags with a 50 per cent recycling part for 2 euros, which are also suitable as beach bags.

Gunnar Heinemann, co-owner of Gebr. Heinemann: “As a family business, it is in our DNA to think in terms of generations – and thus sustainably. We are happy to get involved where possible. In our shops, we have the chance to draw the attention of customers from all over the world, as well as our employees, to the topic of plastic pollution. We hope that this initiative will greatly reduce the amount of used disposable bags.”

Cooperation with the marine conservation organisation OceanCare
The common goals of the cooperation between OceanCare and Gebr. Heinemann are promotion of the conscious handling of resources and a reduction in the consumption of plastic bags at airport shops. Together with the payment of 30 cents for each disposable bag, that is, all plastic bags, paper bags and ZIP bags, passengers should be made aware of environmental pollution. In the best case, our customers are happy to refrain from using a disposable bag or to opt for a reusable bag. Those who do not want to do without a disposable bag should use it several times and deal with it carefully, and they still make a contribution to global nature conservation since 100% of the proceeds are donated to OceanCare.

However, in this case: The lower the donations, that is, the less the plastic bags provided, the better. “For us, it was very important to establish a direct connection with environmental protection and also to communicate this to our customers”, explains Jens Wolf, Director Retail Sales at Gebr. Heinemann and head of the initiative. “Together with OceanCare, we can expand our commitment and therefore decided to support their projects to reduce plastic waste in the oceans, eliminate plastic waste, and save animals that are endangered by plastic waste regardless of the number of plastic bags sold”, continued Jens Wolf.

“In light of massive littering of the world’s oceans, the joint commitment to a significant reduction of plastic consumption is the order of the last minute. We are delighted that Gebr. Heinemann is taking this initiative, raising awareness among consumers and supporting the company’s activities against plastic pollution of the seas so much”, says Sigrid Lüber, president and founder of OceanCare, who aims, within relevant bodies of the United Nations and also in numerous field projects, to reduce plastic waste and address the negative impacts on marine species in a specific and solution-oriented manner.