A new investigation by the Market Change Foundation, a leading organization within the Free Plastic movement, shows that European supermarkets lack plastic-free targets and Portugal is not in the best position.
More than 130 retailers in 13 European countries were surveyed in three categories – transparency and efficiency, commitment and public policy support – and were given a percentage score.
Portugal sits in the middle of the table, in seventh place with a percentage of 10.3% in this matter. The UK leads with 39.6%, France and Denmark close the podium with ratings of 23.3% and 17.1% respectively.
The analysis also assessed supermarkets in different countries, studied separately. The overall average score obtained by retailers in the three categories was only 13.1 points (out of 100), or 13%.
According to the researchers, only two companies topped the 60% top spot in the table: Aldi in the UK with 65.3% and Aldi in Ireland with 61%.
The rest of the top-scoring companies lagged far behind, with Lidl in the UK at 44.7%, Carrefour in France at 41.7% and French organic supermarket BioCoop at 37%, making up the top five.
On the other hand, 14 companies received no points, and one Portuguese company: Cora (Belgium); BILLA and PENNY (REWE Group), Coop and Tesco (Czech Republic); Maxima, Prisma and Selver (Estonia); Leclerc (France); Musgrave and Dunnes stores (Ireland); Intermarch (Portugal); Metro (Ukraine); and Carrefour (Spain).
Five retailers were evaluated in Portugal: Aldi, Auchan, Intermarché, Jerónimo Martins and Lidl. Jeronimo Martins managed to take 20th place in the ranking, but only 17.7 points out of 100. Lidl and Aldi scored 13 points, while Auchan got eight. Intermarche is at the bottom of the list with a zero score.
“Plastic pollution is having a devastating impact on ecosystems, affecting wildlife, exacerbating the climate crisis and compromising our health,” the authors warn.
According to the report, “only a week goes by without yet another horrifying fact about the devastating toll plastic is taking on the planet and its inhabitants.”
“So far, only in 2022 have we found microplastics deep in the lungs of people, in the tissues of patients who underwent surgery, and in the blood of the population,” they emphasize.
The researchers say they have learned “that chemicals found in everyday plastic are destroying human fertility to the point that by 2040 they could make self-reproduction impossible.”
“Despite outrage, coordinated action, and growing pressure from all walks of life, the amount of plastic the industry is putting on the market is growing and skyrocketing,” they conclude.
Therefore, the report recommends that retailers be transparent and disclose the plastic footprint of their own brand and branded plastic products, and set consistent targets in the markets in which they operate.
Despite inflation, private household consumption increased between July and September this year. This increase allowed the Portuguese economy to continue growing in the third quarter. The growth was 4.9% compared to the same period last year.
The past few months have confirmed a trend towards sharp inflation and rising costs such as mortgage payments for those with mortgages. Difficulties that are currently forcing families to consume less than a year ago. But, compared to the second quarter of 2022, from July to September this year, private consumption increased by 1.1%. Domestic demand supported the slight growth of the Portuguese economy recorded in the third quarter.
Even with the fall in exports and investment, GDP grew by 0.4% compared to the previous quarter and by 4.9% compared to the same period last year. The numbers that need to be produced to ensure that 2022 ends with a booming economy, even during a downturn and international uncertainty.
This instability still does not affect the unemployment rate, which remained at 6.1% in October. Compared to September, the number of unemployed has decreased by 2,000. The active population has also declined and there are still 285,000 people who are not considered unemployed but are out of the labor market or only work a few hours a week.
In October, the number of overnight stays in 5-star hotels increased by 15.9% compared to the same month in 2019, which, according to additional information, namely from the DMC (Tourist Inception Agency), is associated with a strong increase in tourism from the United States. states.
Information published today by INE indicates that in October, compared to the same month before the pandemic, the number of overnight stays in tourist establishments in Portugal increased by 6.2%, with the strongest increase in hotels, at 8.2%. in which, therefore, 62.1% is concentrated. overnight stays.
The information shows that 4-star hotels, where the largest number of beds are concentrated, had 48.9% of overnight stays in October, totaling 2.05 million, which is +7.6% or more than 144.7 thousand than in October 2019.
This was followed by 3-star hotels with 927.3k, but this increase was about half of 5-star hotels, by 7.6% or 65.5k, to 927.3k, and then 5-star hotels with 857. 4 thousand overnight stays, an increase of 15.9%. or 117.6 thousand compared to the same pre-pandemic month.
In contrast to the evolution in these categories, there were 2- and 1-star hotels, in which the number of overnight stays decreased by 2.7%, or ten thousand, to 360.8 thousand.
The cheapest apart-hotels (three and two stars) also saw a decrease in overnight stays, from -20.9% or less than 24.4 thousand, in hotels and farms in Madeira, from -0.4% or less, to about 300, and in tourist settlements, from -7.7. % or less than 17.5 thousand.
At the same time, the number of apart-hotels increased by 1.2%, or 8.5 thousand, to 717.5 million, due to the increase in 5-star hotels by 6.7%, or 6.6 thousand, to 104.9 thousand, and 4-star, by 5.4 thousand% or 26.4 thousand to 519.9 thousand.
Overnight stays in tourist apartments also increased by 3.2%, or 13.6 thousand, to 437.8 million, local accommodation, by 0.6%, or 5.5 thousand, to 901.2 thousand, and , primarily tourism in rural areas and housing, with an increase of 45.2% or 67.3 thousand to 216.5 thousand people.
The INE data also shows that Portuguese tourist sites were the best in October in terms of overnight stays this year, with peaks achieved by 5-, 4- and 3-star hotels, 5- and 4-star apartment hotels, accommodation . and rural tourism and housing development.
This afternoon the Council of Ministers will approve a national strategy to combat what it considers “underrepresentation de Portugal” in European institutions, in particular the European Commission.
“There is a significant shortage of Portuguese, especially those working for the Commission,” explains the Secretary of State for European Affairs in statements to Renaissance🇧🇷 The problem, according to Thiago Antunes, is not limited to middle management: “This is the first time Portugal does not have a CEO in the European Commission”.
The government wants to “correct this imbalance and fight this deficit in order to win.”ability to influence in decisions.” But it is not possible to increase the number of vacancies for the Portuguese, if only because there are no national quotas for employees working in institutions.
To go to Brussels or even work in Portugal on a full-time basis, you need to pass a series of tests prepared by EPSO (European Personnel Selection Office). 🇧🇷These are very difficult competitions.with very concrete evidence,” the official explains.
The strategy will be based on several pillars: training, increasing grants and encouraging the mobility of civil servants. The Portuguese government is going to create a national training center to “better prepare our candidates for competitions”; to bet on “dissemination of opportunities; increase the balls (by quantity and value); and create a statute that allows those who work in the public administration of Portugal to move into the European public administration.
The aim is to achieve “greater representation” in the European Commission in order to have “greater influence” on the decision. Although the strategy is to strengthen the Portuguese presence in Brussels and the employees do not work for Portugal.it doesn’t matter that they are portuguese“, he defends.
Fruits may not appear early or may not even be measurable. “It will take some time until we see results,” admits the former secretary of state to the prime minister. But the wait does not stop the Portuguese government. “We have to start right now,” Thiago Antunes insists, pointing to the demographic problem among those working in Brussels. “There are a lot of Portuguese who came in at the time of our accession and are now retiring.”
The strategy aims to reverse the cycle of loss of Portuguese representation among the 27. The diploma will be approved this Wednesday in the Council of Ministers.