Shopping outlets part ways with plastic

The Constantia Emporium Woolworths gave out 1 500 reusable shopping bags at the malls opening.

The Woolworths food store at the newly opened Constantia Emporium is part of a growing number of retailers that are finally parting with plastic.

It’s the fifth Woolworths food store nationally to make the change, giving customers the option of bringing their own reusable bags or buying a R6 recyclable one.

Meanwhile, Pick ‘n Pay at Constantia Village is piloting a packaging-free section to reduce the use of plastic bags for weighed products.

Last year, the Woolworths food store at Steenberg launched a “low cost” reusable bag for R6 and a reusable produce bag.

According to Woolworths spokeswoman Diane Peterson, the reusable shopping bag is made locally out of recycled plastic bottle fabric and is recyclable. To date the production of the low cost reusable bag has resulted in over 750 000 plastic bottles being removed from waste streams to be recycled and made into the bag’s fabric.

The Woolworths store at Constantia Emporium has taken more plastic out of the system with paper-stemmed earbuds, paper straws, wooden cutlery and a coffee cup recycling bin at the coffee cart.

The store’s manager, Tulani Roqo, said: “We are delighted that our store has been chosen to be plastic bag free. We know that care for the environment is close to our customers’ hearts.”

Just two months ago, the Woolworths at Blue Route Mall, replaced its Fashion, Beauty & Home plastic shopping bags with a bag made out of recycled paper.

“This is part of a trial where we are testing various aspects with the switch from plastic to paper bags including bag size, logistics or transportation and storage with the plan to roll out to more stores in the new year,” said Ms Peterson.

Woolworths wants all its packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2022, and it plans to phase out single-use plastic bags in its stores by the end of 2020.

Constantia Village’s Pick ‘n Pay’s packaging-free zone lets customers pick and weigh products without wasteful packaging.

“There will be nearly 90 dry grocery products, across 15 different categories, for customers to choose from. The store has also extended its nude fruit and vegetable produce wall,” said Pick ‘n Pay spokeswoman Janine Caradonna.

Three revamped Pick ‘n Pay branches were reopened last week in Plumstead, Steenberg and Constantia. Raymond and Wendy Ackerman attended the reopening of Pick ‘n Pay Constantia on Friday November 22.