The end of the plastic bag

The pharmacies of the PHOENIX group are committed to the environment and opting for alternatives to traditional plastic bags – from recycled bags to sugar cane totes.


The extensive use of plastic bags worldwide is causing severe environmental problems: for the oceans, for the climate, and for us as human beings. Europeans alone use around 100 billion plastic bags per year. The pharmacies of the PHOENIX group and their customers are addressing the topic, too.

We are committed to the protection of the environment and therefore continually look for improvements. The substitution of conventional plastic carrier bags is a very good example.Stefan HerfeldMember of the Executive Board Retail

Many of our pharmacies have therefore switched to alternatives to traditional plastic bags. However, they all have their pros and cons, and none of them offers the perfect solution. Nevertheless, they contribute to greater sustainability at our pharmacies. We have around 150 million customer contacts per year, and each one offers an opportunity to encourage a change in thinking and reduce plastic consumption.

Plastiktüten verbrauchen die Europäer jährlich
100 Mrd.Plastiktüten verbrauchen die Europäer jährlich
Alternativen zu herkömmlichen Plastiktüten in 
unseren Apotheken
3Alternativen zu herkömmlichen Plastiktüten in 
unseren Apotheken
Kundenkontakte haben wir 
jährlich in unseren Apotheken
150 Mio.Kundenkontakte haben wir 
jährlich in unseren Apotheken
  • Shopping bags made from recycled plastic bottles

    BENU pharmacies in Serbia and Slovakia offered their customers a special promotion for World Environment Day, held over several weeks in June 2019. If customers purchased goods over a certain value, they received lightweight, environmentally friendly shopping bags made from recycled plastic bottles. The aim was to motivate customers to bring the bags with them every time they came.

  • Sugar cane bags

    Many BENU pharmacies have been offering their customers “I’m green” sugar cane tote bags since 2018. Like traditional plastic bags, they are made from polyethylene, but they are not manufactured using crude oil. As they are based on sugar cane, a sustainable raw material, less CO2 is released during their production. They are not biodegradable, but are sturdy, can be used multiple times, and are 100% recyclable.

  • Paper carrier bags

    Some BENU pharmacies also offer bags made of card or paper. At Apotek 1 in Norway, these bags carry the FSC label for sustainable forestry. The advantage of paper bags is that they decompose more quickly than plastic bags. However, they require more energy to produce.