According to Woolworths, the retailer will no longer sell single-use plastic bags as it is part of its vision to steer towards zero packaging waste to landfill. Picture: Courtney Africa, ANA.
According to Woolworths, the retailer will no longer sell single-use plastic bags as it is part of its vision to steer towards zero packaging waste to landfill. Picture: Courtney Africa, ANA.

Woolies is scrapping plastic bags in 50 stores by April 30

By Dieketseng Maleke Time of article published Apr 13, 2021

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In an effort to have no packaging waste in landfills, Woolworths has announced that 50 stores will switch to being plastic-free by the end of April.

The retailer said it already has a plastic-free store in Malmesbury and the next store will be opened in Rustenburg.

According to Woolworths, the retailer will no longer sell single-use plastic bags as it is part of its vision to steer towards zero packaging waste to landfill.

Speaking to BRO, the retailer said while it encouraged customers to bring and use reusable bags, they will also sell a recycled bag manufactured locally. The bag retails at R6.49.

In 2018, Woolworths said it had been making “positive changes” in its stores by using less packaging, less plastic material in packaging, and ensuring that all their packaging is recyclable.

Woolworths’ head of foods: technology, food safety and sustainability, Latiefa Behardien, said: “These additional 52 stores based mainly in Gauteng and the Western Cape take us to over 200 single-use plastic bag-free stores in Southern Africa. A significant achievement at a time when we have had so many supply uncertainties.”

The retailer said they had replaced plastic packaging, with kraft packaging in popular “ripe and ready” avocados equating to an annual plastic saving of between 35 and 40 tons, the fruit covered with a fully recyclable shrink wrap.

“The recent roll-out of the new avocado packaging to all varieties sees the polystyrene plastic punnet replaced with a kraft box base made from 63% recycled paper,” said Behardien.

Woolworths said it had its challenges as the transportation of the avocados from farm to distribution centre to store and then into customers’ homes requires a gentle but robust packaging choice.

“We have been working closely with our suppliers and packaging manufacturers for over two years on this new design, including extensive customer trials over the last eight months with the various avocado varieties,” she said.

Behardien added that they were confident that the new packaging would deliver the functionality they need.

“Kraft board is an excellent packaging alternative to plastic in that it is 100% fully recyclable, biodegradable, Forest Stewardship Council ® (FSC N002141) certified and locally sourced,” concluded Behardien.

The retailer said customers in the Western Cape might have noticed that the retailer is trialling a moisture-resistant kraft pot to replace the traditional plastic pot for their “Grow Your Own” herb range. “If the trial is successful, this shift could result in a 13.9-ton plastic reduction a year,” said Woolworths.

Here is a list of the 50 Woolworths stores to go plastic bag-free from the end of April:

Gauteng:

1. Bassonia Shopping Centre (Jhb)

2. Broadacres Shopping Centre

3. Doringkloof Shopping Centre

4. Edenglen Shopping Centre

5. Eldoraigne Village Shopping Centre

6. Eldo Square Shopping Centre

7. Equestria Shopping Centre

8. Genesis Shopping Centre

9. Grey Owl Village (Midrand)

10. Hans Strijdom (Appletons Village)

11. Harrison Street

12. Hazeldene Shopping Centre

13. Honeydew Village Shopping Centre

14. Horizon View (The Village at Horizon View)

15. Jean Crossing Shopping Mall

16. Lifestyle Crossing Centre

17. Kyalami (Kyalami Corner)

18. Lonehill Shopping Centre

19. Lynnwood Road (Hillcrest Boulevard Shopping Centre)

20. Magalies View (Rustenburg Convenience Shopping Centre)

21. Meyersdal Alberton (Meyersdal Square)

22. Noordheuwel (Krugersdorp)

23. Northwold – Boskruin Village Shopping Centre

24. Norwood Mall (Jhb)

25. Paulshof (Cambridge Crossing)

26. Queenswood Centre

27. Ruimsig (Featherbrook Village – Jhb)

28. Sandridge Square (Midrand)

29. Sinoville

30. VanDerBijl Park (Riverside Boulevard Shopping Centre)

31. Victory Park Shopping Centre

32. Waterfall Corner (Waterfall Shopping Centre)

33. Watermeyer Park Shopping Centre

34. Verdi Shopping Centre (Jhb)

35. Zambezi Junction Shopping Centre

North West:

36. Wilkoppies – Macrovest Centre (Klerksdorp)

Western Cape:

37. Belvedere Road

38. Birkenhead Shopping Centre (Melkbos)

39. Da Luz Mall

40. Edgemead Shopping Centre

41. Flamingo Vlei (Flamingo Square Centre)

42. Fort Road (Sea Point)

43. Gordon’s Bay (Mountain View Shopping Centre)

44. Kromboom Road

45. Milner Road

46. Plattekloof Village Shopping Centre

47. Port Side (Green Point)

48. Village Square (Durbanville)

49. Welgemoed (Welgemoed Forum Shopping centre)

50. West Coast Mall

New stores that have/will open Single-use Plastic Shopping bag free

- De Korenvlij (Malmesbury) – opened 25 March

- Rustenburg Mall – opening 29 April

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