On the occasion of the European Sustainable Development Week, Groupe BPCE is mobilizing around a topical issue: plastics

Monday, 3 june 2019

More than 150 million tons of plastic waste is floating on the surface of the oceans, and 1.5 million animals have died after ingesting plastic fragments.

Confronted with these alarming figures and in response to what has become a highly topical issue, Groupe BPCE wanted to raise its employees’ awareness about the scourge of plastic waste for the environment. A number of meetings will be held within the Group during the week with a view to raising awareness, encouraging action and obtaining the commitment of employees to achieve a significant reduction in their consumption of plastic.

Credit card recycling
The week also provides an opportunity to highlight actions taken in this area by the Banque Populaire banks and Caisses d’Epargne. One example is the process of collecting, treating and recycling bank cards adopted by the Caisse d’Epargne Aquitaine Poitou-Charentes and the Caisse d’Epargne Bourgogne Franche-Comté with the help of specialized local companies. As a result, a total of 419 kg of plastic, or about 100,000 cards, was recycled in 2018 for the Caisse d’Epargne Aquitaine Poitou-Charentes and an average of 370 kg for the Caisse d’Epargne Bourgogne Franche-Comté.

Clean-up operation
Banque Populaire Grand Ouest and Crédit Maritime Grand Ouest took part in the ‘Clean Beaches and Seas’ operation. The idea behind this initiative is to mobilize a large section of the general public to preserve the maritime ecosystem by changing their behavior or consumption patterns. Bank employees and customers were largely present with more than 900 participants, allowing 1.7 tons of waste to be collected in a single morning.

Reduction, selective sorting, and the use of mugs
In order to encourage their employees to sort and reduce plastic, CASDEN, Banque Populaire du Nord and Natixis have also decided to take several concrete actions: the installation of recycle bins for bottles and plastic stoppers, or the replacement of plastic cups with water bottles and mugs.

Finally, in keeping with their entrepreneurial values, Groupe BPCE companies are financing the development of local firms specializing in the collection, sorting and recycling of plastic, and are providing their support to associations and organizations committed to protecting the environment, such as the Caisse d’Epargne Languedoc-Roussillon with Ecocup, a leading manufacturer of reusable cups, and CASDEN with Surfrider Foundation Europe.