Pick n Pay is rolling out its new budget green People n Planet reusable bag nationally after a successful trial with customers earlier this year. The bag is expected to be in all stores by mid-October.

The grocery store partnered with The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever – two companies who are also actively implementing waste reduction initiatives – to sell the first one million green ‘People n Planet’ reusable bags for just R4 per bag.

This will make it one of the lowest-priced reusable bags made from recycled plastic to date in South Africa. The bag’s low price is all the more remarkable given that should it ever break, Pick n Pay will replace it for free.

The bags that will soon be available for purchase.

The green People n Planet Reusable Bag was initially sold for R5 per bag and trialled in 22 stores in February this year to gauge customer willingness to purchase an affordable reusable bag as an alternative to a plastic carrier bag. More than 11 500 bags were sold during the one-month trial, which resulted in a reduction in plastic bag sales across the pilot stores when compared to the same period last year.

Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, transformation director at Pick n Pay, says that this demonstrates that customers are willing to make responsible choices if the right options are available to them at the right price.

Made from green recycled PET bottles, the reusable bag promotes the circular economy by turning post-consumer primary packaging (plastic bottles) into secondary packaging (reusable bags). “Customers who recycle their green plastic bottles and then purchase the new green bag will help keep a product in use and out of the environment,” says Ackerman-Berman.

Bruno Pietracci, President of Coca-Cola Southern & East Africa, says that this partnership helps ensure their green PET bottles are given a second life. “These reusable bags are part of our ambitious World Without Waste strategy through which we aim to promote a circular economy by collecting and recycling a bottle for every one we sell by 2030.”

The process that goes into making the bags.

Luc-Olivier Marquet, the CEO for Unilever South Africa, says that partnerships like this is a testimony of their commitment to reduce the amount of plastic in landfills and the environment.

“We want to help build an inclusive circular economy, in which we not only use less plastic, but also ensure the plastic we do use can be reused and recycled.  As a manufacturer, we have committed that by 2025, we will ensure that 100% of our packaging will be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable and will include a minimum of 25% recycled material. An example of this is our Sunlight liquid bottle, which is made from 100% recycled PET and is fully recyclable. We would like to encourage consumers to make use of reusable shopping bags and choose packaging that includes recycled material. These small acts add up to make a big difference,” says Marquet.

Locals can look forward to purchasing their very own People n Planet bags this coming October, 2019.

Pictures: Supplied

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