Reusable bags made from recycled green plastic bottles are being introduced at 22 Pick n Pay stores across the country and have already been implemented at stores in the Western Cape.
Pick n Pay will offer the first-of-its-kind, environmentally-friendly R5 budget bag to customers as an alternative to the “normal” plastic carrier bags in an effort to tackle waste.
The bag is currently the lowest-priced reusable bag in South Africa.
Pick n Pay introduced reusable bags in 2003, the first retailer to do so, and has since offered customers a range of alternatives, including cotton and RPET (recycled polyethylene terephtalate) bags.
Pick n Pay Director of Transformation Suzanne Ackerman-Berman says the company is dedicated developing eco-friendly alternatives to plastic bags.
“More recently we’ve trialled new alternatives, such as paper bags and cardboard boxes. But the reality is that for the time being, the plastic carrier bag remains the most economical bag option for customers, despite the growing options available.”
She said the new budget bag is more affordable compared to other reusable bags.
“We believe our new R5 reusable bag could be a viable reusable bag option for many more customers, across all income groups.”
The popular local retailer has also started a trial with a reusable netted fruit and vegetable fresh produce bag (priced R7.50) in a further effort to discourage unnecessary plastic usage.
After receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers when it trialled the reusable netted produce bag in five stores across the Western Cape at the end of December, the retailer decided it would expand the trial to include more stores across the province as well as Durban North Hypermarket and five stores in Namibia. Trials of the netted produce bag in these places will begin in mid-February.
Customers can now also bring their own transparent and sealable reusable bag in-store for loose selling produce.
Ackerman-Berman concludes, “Our customers have told us they want an alternative to plastic bags and would like to “refuse the bag”. We know that there are many considerations, such as size, durability and price, so we are working closely with our customers to trial various options. We believe that by following this process, we can drive real, long-term sustainable change, both for our environment and our customers.”
The reusable R5 carrier bags are currently available at the following stores:
-Carletonville Gold Reef Mall
– Festival Mall
-Hyper South Coast
-Irene Village Mall
-V & A Waterfront