In July 2017, the Slovenian government adopted an amendment to the regulation on the handling of packaging and packaging waste in order to reduce the use of light plastic bags permanently. As of 1 January 2019, free-of-charge plastic bags will be banned at all sales outlets in Slovenia. This is a business challenge for traders who will have to adapt their business to legislative novelties and start charging for plastic bags.
- Within the changes expected, we designed a communication program responding to the following challenges.
- Show the efforts of SPAR Slovenia as an ecologically aware retail dealer.
- Inform consumers that plastic bags will be payable as of 1 January 2019 and offer them an alternative (sustainable bags)
- Inform consumers about the importance of using recycled materials and keeping the environment clean.
Based on a table research of the existing socially responsible campaigns of SPAR Slovenia and other retail dealers, and after gaining the information on the consumption of plastic bags in Slovenia, we identified the following factors influencing the communication program and socially responsible activities:
- According to the estimates of the European Commission, the average inhabitant of Slovenia uses more than 500 plastic bags per year or more than 40 per month, many of which end up in waters and wild landfills (by 2015, the volunteers registered over 13,000 wild dumps in Slovenia. Source: Ecologists Without Borders website: http://ebm.si/o/en).
- Slovenian affiliation with clean water (in 2017, the right to drinking water was entered into the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia) is an opportunity to get a positive public response.
- SPAR Slovenia regularly carries out socially responsible campaigns, although not related to providing a cleaner environment in most cases.
Our goal was to encourage users to buy sustainable bags, to consequently raise funds for cleaning two rivers in northeastern Slovenia and start a habit of using the sustainable bags by consumers.