“Everyone has an
important part to play in reducing plastic waste. We want to make it possible
for our customers to help in this effort, and we’re giving them more choices in
our stores to do just that,” says Paula Disberry, retail executive: commercial
and marketing at Pick n Pay.

Short-term focus
areas


The retailer will initially target five areas in the short term, with a wider
set of targets and commitments to follow: 

1. 100% recyclable plastic bags introduced: Pick n Pay will start
introducing 100% recyclable plastic bags, manufactured from recycled plastic
and with no added calcium, in stores from August 2018. In addition, a broader
range of reusable bags at “affordable prices” will be made available
to help customers move away from single-use bags.

2. Plastic straws to be phased out in favour of paper straws: Plastic
straws will no longer be provided at checkouts. These will be replaced with
paper straws which will only be available at the cold drink kiosks. 

3. Alternatives to everyday plastic disposable items: Pick n
Pay-branded earbuds will be introduced where the plastic inners will be
replaced with paper. 

4. Reduced packaging impacts: Pick n Pay has introduced recycled
PET (RPET) in a range of its own products. The plastic punnets used in the
packaging of their fresh fruit and vegetables contains a minimum of 25 % RPET.
The use of RPET will be rolled out to more categories, such as the PnP and No
Name carbonated soft drink bottles – these will include a minimum of 20% RPET.
PnP’s Dishwashing Liquids and All Purpose Cleaners will include a minimum of
25% recycled material.

5. Free plastic collection from online customer homes: The retailer
has had in-store recycling bins for plastic bags available at all their stores
for several years. The company will now increase customers’ ability to recycle
by offering free plastic collection from online customers’ homes. 

 

Alleviating
environmental damage


Disberry says that the environmental damage caused by the use of plastic and
the impact on our oceans has become increasingly clear. It has been reported
that by 2050, at current rates of pollution, there will likely be more plastic
in the sea than fish.

The new Pick n Pay plastic carrier bags will have zero added calcium and be
made from 100% recycled material – 60% from post-consumer waste (which includes
recyclable customer plastic that has been collected and sent to recycling
plants), and 40% from factory/manufacturing waste (from factory plastic bag cut
offs generated during the making of plastic bags).

“While we’ve seen success in the promotion of our reusable bags, it was clear
we needed to counter the environmental damage from the non-recycling of plastic
bags.”


Disberry says, “This is just the start of our Packaging and Plastic Reduction
Project. 

“Customers can expect more initiatives and commitments to reduce our packaging
in the near future. In addition to the extensive work on our own branded
products, this will include partnering with key suppliers to roll out the
packaging and plastics reduction programmes they are implementing in Europe and
the USA in South Africa. 

“We will also launch a plastic and recycling education programme through the
Pick n Pay School Club that will reach more than 2 million learners.”

Disberry concludes, “There are no easy or quick fixes, but in partnership with
our partners, industry bodies and suppliers we will continue to lead change in
reducing plastic use.”

Source: Bizcommunity