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Woolworths boosts the use of reusable shopping bags

Friday, 02/12/2022

In efforts to support consumers dispose of extra or used reusable shopping bags, Woolworths has started rolling out two in-store programs to more than 200 locations over the previous month. 

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“The objective of our reusable shopping bag initiative is to change consumption behavior and to reduce our reliance on single-use plastic. All our food markets are single-use plastic shopping bags free, which has resulted in a substantial increase in the demand and use of reusable shopping bags. We are committed to circularity and reducing single-use consumption, so we challenged ourselves to ensure that the broken or worn reusable bags are disposed of responsibly and given a new life and for excess bags to be reused, reducing the need to purchase more,” says Latiefa Behardien, Woolworths Foods chief technology and sustainability officer.

“Last year, as part of our vision for zero packaging waste to landfill, we started engaging with local recyclers to test various second-life products for our reusable bags and started trialing recycling ‘drop offs’ at our tills in selected stores. The objective of the trial was to test our reverse logistics system, as the bags need to be returned with our other recyclable store waste back to our Distribution Centres where it is then sorted before moving onto recyclers for second life trials,” confirms Behardien.

Besides that, Woolworths and the recyclers are expecting to have the opportunity to test several second-life possibilities on a larger scale with the extension of the reusable bag recycling  drops off to an additional 100 stores in order to determine the best option for the worn reusable bags and close the circle.

Bring a Bag/Take a Bag

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Souce: South African

Customers seem to like the second "Bring a bag/Take a bag" initiative, which Woolworths recently tested in four stores in Cape Town. It gives customers the chance to drop off any extra reusable bags that are still in good condition for other customers who have forgotten theirs to use and then return.

“Based on our customer feedback and a great suggestion from ‘Good Things Guy’ Brent Lindeque, we trialed a ‘bag share’ initiative – Bring a Bag/Take a Bag in four stores and we are delighted to be rolling it out to an additional 100 stores across the country.

“An additional win-win is that the in-store equipment to house the bags has been made locally by a Black-owned shopfitting company that we have been working with for over 10 years and the in-store structures are made from 100% recycled content, which used to be yoghurt tubs, toothpaste tubes or chip packets and would most likely end up in landfill,” adds Behardien.

Behardien concludes: “While recycling alone cannot solve the world’s pollution problems, it has significant potential to impact cleaning up our waste systems, creating jobs and reducing the use of virgin plastics. Every step of the way helps to bring about a cleaner, safer country for all” 

Source: Biz Community 


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