New Zealand has a new campaign to end plastic packaging for fresh produce in supermarkets. Foodstuffs have signed the NZ Plastic Packaging Declaration which is committed to making all store and private label packaging 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
Sales of some vegetables have soared by up to 300 percent after a number of New Zealand supermarkets ditched plastic packaging. A group of supermarkets have abandoned the use of plastic wrapping for virtually all of their fruit and vegetables in a project labelled ‘food in the nude’.
Nigel Bond, owner of one of the stores: “When you take on these projects they can be a disaster and lead to customer pushback but in my 30 years in the supermarket industry this simple change has resulted in the most positive feedback from customers I have ever received.”
The initiative is part of the war against plastic. In New Zealand the days of single-use plastic shopping bags are numbered –most supermarkets are no longer providing them at the check-out– while the government late last year agreed to regulations for a mandatory phase-out across all retailers from July 1.
Bond says he and store manager Gary May first came up with the idea over two years ago: “At the time we noticed an increasing amount of fresh produce was being supplied in plastic wrapping. We thought this was crazy and vowed and declared to do something about it.
Foodstuffs have signed the NZ Plastic Packaging Declaration which is committed to making all store and private label packaging 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. It has also introduced recyclable food trays – a measure that gives customers the opportunity to divert more than 80 million trays from landfill every year.