Making a statement for the environment: TAX FREE Heinemann introduces a fee for single-use plastic bags to bring down the usage of plastic bags. The profits go to the marine conservation organisation OceanCare

As of 2 September, single-use plastic bags at the TAX FREE Heinemann shops at Copenhagen Airport are only available for a fee of 2 or 3 DKK (26 or 39 euro cents), respectively. 100 percent of the proceeds are donated to the international marine conservation organisation OceanCare, which invests the contribution in the rescue of marine animals and environmental education, among other things. 

Reduction of plastic bags by strengthening customers’ awareness
"Our goal is to massively reduce the consumption of plastic bags. In our shops we have the opportunity to draw the attention of customers from all over the world to the issue of plastic pollution and to strengthen their awareness for the problem. In the best case, our customers are happy to refrain from using a disposable bag or to opt for a reusable bag with this knowledge. However, we know that customers in our TAX FREE shops enjoy making spontaneous purchases and need additional options for carrying them. Through our cooperation with OceanCare, it will nevertheless be possible for our customers to make a contribution to global nature conservation," says Esben Keller, Managing Director Heinemann Retail Denmark.

At Copenhagen Airport the new initiative is very welcome
“Here in Copenhagen Airport we are very happy that our long-term partner is taking the initiative to something this tangible. We hope to see more like this in the future from all our partners and will do what we can to help them succeed with their ideas to make a difference for the environment,” says Chief Commercial Officer in Copenhagen Airport, Peter Krogsgaard.

Heinemann customers are happy to give up using plastic bags
The common goals of the cooperation between OceanCare and Gebr. Heinemann, which has existed in Germany and Austria since 2017, are to promote the conscious use of resources and the reduction of plastic bag consumption in airport shops. The project is already a success for marine conservation: After the successful pilot phase in the 14 Heinemann airport shops in Germany and Austria, the cooperation is continuously being extended to other locations; in January 2018, it was launched in Bratislava and Ljubljana, followed by Budapest and Copenhagen in 2019. Passengers have been very accommodating of the change seen in the Heinemann Duty Free shops and are happy to give up using single use disposable bags. In the first year of the cooperation alone, the number of plastic bags issued at the participating sites was reduced by a total of around 70 percent. From the beginning of the cooperation with OceanCare in 2017 until the end of the first quarter of 2019, a total donation of around 300,000 euros was raised for the marine conservation organisation.

“The decision of TAX FREE Heinemann shops at Copenhagen Airport is another milestone in joint efforts reducing single used plastic waste. We applaud Gebr. Heinemann for their clear and measurable contribution to reach SDG 14.1 to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds by 2025. A goal which can only be reached if all stakeholders are making a joint effort,” says Sigrid Lüber, Founder and President of OceanCare. “ We hope this decision encourages other private sector companies to follow this example”.

For many years, OceanCare has been supporting, for example, the British Divers for Marine Life Rescue, a world leading stranding network for seals, dolphins and whales. OceanCare also raises public awareness around the globe about rethinking how we deal with single use plastic items. Actions taken by OceanCare include the joint project initiated with the Majorcan organisation Save the Med Foundation, to develop a three-day education model in Majorca's state schools. As well as the theoretical principles regarding the problem of plastic pollution, students of the programme also get involved in cleaning up beaches.

Press contact:
Gebr. Heinemann 
Julia Knors
Corporate Communications                                                                                                                            
Tel.: +49 40 3010 2186

Copenhagen Airport
CPH Press
Tel.: +45 3231 2800

Vera Bürgi
Managing Director
Tel.: +41 44 780 66 88

About Gebr. Heinemann SE & Co. KG
Gebr. Heinemann is one of the top players on the international travel retail market and the leader on the European market. It is the only family-run business among the global players of the travel retail industry. As a distributor, Gebr. Heinemann supplies more than 1,000 customers in over 100 countries. In the retail sector, the company operates more than 340 Heinemann Duty Free & Travel Value shops, fashion label boutiques under license and concept shops at 74 airports in 28 countries, along with shops at border crossings and aboard cruise liners. The company has been designing its Duty Free & Travel Value Shops since 2008 in accordance with an exceptional brand concept. Today, the Heinemann Duty Free brand is present at numerous airports worldwide and operates its biggest Airport Duty Free shop in Sydney.

In total, the retail operation now serves more than 40 million customers across more than 160,000 square metres of retail space every year. Gebr. Heinemann has had its headquarters in what is now the HafenCity district of Hamburg since 1879. The company is managed by cousins Claus and Gunnar Heinemann and Gunnar’s son and CEO Max Heinemann, the fourth and fifth generation of the family to run the business hand in hand. Gebr. Heinemann has more than 8,000 employees around the world.

About Gebr. Heinemann Retail ApS
Since 2007, a total of six tax-free shops* at Copenhagen airport and the online store have been managed by
Gebr. Heinemann Retail ApS, a 100-percent subsidiary of the Gebr. Heinemann company.
*Main Shop (2,600 m²), Pier shop A (175 m²), Pier shop B (80 m²), Pier shop C (260 m²), shop in terminal 3 (160 m²) and Arrivals Shop (126 m²)

About OceanCare
OceanCare is a Swiss non-profit organisation. It was founded in 1989 and has a strong commitment to realistic and cooperative initiatives. The organisation works at national and international level in the areas of marine pollution, environmental changes, fisheries, whaling, sealing, captivity of marine mammals and public education. OceanCare holds Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and is partner of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), and the UNEP/CMS Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS). OceanCare has also been accredited as a Major Group to the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), which is the governing body of UNEP and is a part of the UNEP Global Partnership on Marine Litter.

About Copenhagen Airport