Unes, the Zero project against waste and pollution


Zero plastic, zero waste, more conscious shopping. These are the directions along which the ‘Zero’ project of Unes, the brand founded in Milan in 1967 and now rooted with more than 200 supermarkets (direct and franchised) and 2,900 employees in Lombardy, Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna, is unfolding.

Zero waste

Heating the supermarket by recovering heat emitted from refrigerator motors. Equip these with closing doors to preserve coolness and save energy. Illuminate rooms with LED lamps, which are less energy-consuming. These are some of the green measures taken in Unes stores. Where attention to environmental sustainability is at home and also involves customers.

ConsumAtors are facilitated in virtuous practices. At these supermarkets, for example, PET bottles can be returned with the assurance that they will be recycled. Collection is done by machines that release a penny with each insertion.

Private label (private label) products are being continually reevaluated under the banner of sustainability. Thus was recently eliminated, for example, the unnecessary plastic packaging that wraps groups of mineral water bottles. And the line of environmentally friendly household cleaners has been implemented, with formulas based on natural biodegradable substances and reduced use of plastic in containers.

Zero plastic

Further assistAng consumers comes from the position taken by Unes on single-use plastic tableware. As is well known, the SUP Directive (Single-Use Plastic Directive) provides for a ban in 2021 on some of the items that most pollute our seas. Namely.

– disposable cutlery and plates,
– straws,
– Ear hygiene sticks (Q-tips),
– food containers,
– Styrofoam cups,
– Balloon sticks.

Without waiting any longer, Unes decided to anticipate the deadlines specified in the directive. And to ban all single-use plastic tableware, including cups that the legislature overlooked. The removal from the shelves began on June 26 and will be completed by December 31, 2019.

A viral example. In July 2019 alone, Lidl and the phone company Vodafone (for consumption in its offices) have declared themselves ready to eliminate single-use plastic tableware. But the most important announcement is from Pope Francis. His decision to ban polluting tableware from the Vatican State beginning in early 2020.

Marta Strinati

Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".