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

“We believe our new R5 reusable bag could be a viable reusable bag option for many more customers, across all income groups,” says Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, Pick n Pay's  director of transformation.

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 concludes: “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.”

The latest green low-cost reusable carrier bag joins Pick n Pay’s current range of reusable bags. The retailer still has its original Goodness Bag (R12.99) which was launched in 2003. The colourful Township Group 100% RPET Bottle Bag (R20) is not only made from recycled plastic bottles, but R6 from every bag goes to the local female-owned cooperative that manufactures the bag.

Pick n Pay is trialling the lowest priced reusable bag yet in South Africa, as an affordable reusable alternative to plastic carrier bags. Picture: Supplied
Last year a unique range of 100% RPET reusable bags were introduced with colorful photographic prints (R25).
 
Pick n Pay has also introduced a new blue 100% recyclable plastic carrier bag (made from 100% recycled material) to help drive plastic bag recycling and reduce the amount of post-consumer plastic being sent to landfill.
 
The company estimates that once the blue bags are rolled out to all Pick n Pay stores – expected to be completed by the end of February – more than 2,000 tonnes of post-consumer recycled plastic will be used every year to make these bags.
 
The reusable netted fruit and vegetable fresh produce bag was initially trailed in five stores across the Western Cape at the end of December 2018. (Constantia, Gardens, Melkbos, Vangate Mall and Wynberg). 

Stores that will stock the bag from mid-February: https://www.pnp.co.za/pnpstorefront/pnp/en/reusable-produce-bags

Pick n Pay stores stocking the new green reusable R5 budget bag include:
  • Embalenhle
  • Mayfield Square
  • Carletonville Gold Reef Mall
  • Kroonstad
  • Festival Mall
  • Three Rivers
  • Hyper South Coast
  • Scottburgh
  • Waterfall Mall
  • Lephalale
  • Ottery Hyper
  • Baywest
  • Sinoville
  • Irene Village Mall
  • The Grove
  • I'Langa Mall
  • Somerset Mall
  • Melkbos Strand
  • Gardens
  • Tygervalley
  • Constantia
  • V & A Waterfront

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