Suzanne Ackerman-Berman with PnP's new R5 budget bag. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN - Pick n Pay is trialling the lowest priced reusable bag yet in South Africa, as an affordable reusable alternative to plastic carrier bags.

This first of its kind, this environment-friendly R5 budget bag is made from green recycled plastic bottles, and will initially be introduced in 22 stores across the country to gauge customer reaction.

Pick n Pay was the first retailer to introduce a reusable bag in 2003 and has since offered customers a range of alternatives, including cotton and RPET 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," said Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, Pick n Pay's Director of Transformation.

She added that they believe that their new R5 reusable bag could be a viable reusable bag option for many more customers, across all income groups. 

Pick n Pay has also started a trial with a reusable netted fruit and vegetable fresh produce bag (R7,50) in a further effort to discourage unnecessary plastic bag usage.

Launched in five stores across the Western Cape at the end of December, overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers will see the retailer expand the trial to include more stores across the region, Durban North Hypermarket and five stores in Namibia by mid-February. 

Customers can now also bring their own transparent and sealable reusable bag in-store for loose selling produce.

Ackerman-Berman concluded, "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". 


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