While the plastic or paper debate rages on at grocery stores and retailers across the world, several retailers in Brazil are saying no to both, but yes to bioplastic.
Australian-based Cardia Bioplastics Limited has received the first order of 1.25 million Biohybrid bags to Brazilian retailer Drogaria Araujo.
Drogaria Araujo is Brazil's fourth largest drugstore chain, with 120 stores serving 38 million customers annually. After extensive evaluation, the retailer has made the decision to replace the use of paper bags in its stores with Cardia Biohybrid bags.
With Drogaria Araujo committing to use Cardia Biohybrid bags, annual orders are expected to reach $400,000 with the opportunity to grow the business across the larger Araujo retailing group. Drogaria Araujo will use the bags in all of its 120 stores.
Cardia Biohybrid BL-F masterbatch is a homogenous blend of thermoplastic starch (TPS) with polyethylene (PE) and is formulated with 66% of annually renewable starch. The Cardia Biohybrid resins are colorable and printable, and the company says the material can be converted on existing equipment to make packaging applications such as shopping bags, bottles, containers and more.
"These are exciting times for Cardia Brazil," said Frank Glatz, Cardia Bioplastics Managing Director. "With the establishment of our Brazilian supply chain, we are now seeing major retailers such as Ricoy Supermercados and Drogaria Araujo validating our products through placing orders and commiting to annual supply agreements. With changing legislation, the imminent FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics which will see global attention and an influx of international visitors into Brazil, we can expect to see more orders for our sustainable bag offering."
In February, Cardia Bioplastics announced that it was selected as the preferred bag supplier to Ricoy Supermercados in Brazil. Ricoy Supermercados is one of Brazil's large regional supermarket chains operating 90 stores with more than 8,500 employees in Brazil's state of São Paulo. Ricoy Supermercados, through its subsidiary Russi Supermercados, ordered $150,000 of Cardia Bioplastics bags over four months. An annual supply agreement has been executed with forecast of five million Cardia Bioplastics bags per month based on initial orders.
Brazil is South America's largest consumer market and the seventh largest globally. With the impending 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as changing legislation, Cardia believes its entry into the Brazilian market is well timed. São Paulo adopted a plastic bag ban in 2012 and other states have followed its lead.