PORT ELIZABETH - SPAR Eastern Cape on Friday said the company has declared war on plastic shopping bags, and launched a campaign to persuade customers to exchange them for reusable paper ones.

 According to the retailer, the initiative is exclusive to the Eastern Cape for now. SPAR Eastern Cape managing director, Conrad Isaac said that with hundreds of millions of shopping bags in circulation they could no longer ignore their accountability in what was becoming increasingly harmful to the environment.

“We believe that safeguarding our environment and the future are often spoken about but not much is done,” said Isaac. “As the biggest food retailer in the Eastern Cape, I believe we have to take care of the health and well being of the communities in which we operate.

“If we carry on in this way and don’t do something about the mess we are creating it can only lead to the eventual destruction of our environment. So the dream is to clean up the place and to work towards creating a healthy and fresh environment in which we can live.”  

The drive taking place on Friday and Saturday encourages shoppers to swap plastic bags for paper bags. Over these two days, while stocks last, members of the public will be given a paper bag free of charge for every 10 plastic shopping bags brought to any one of SPAR’s Eastern Cape outlets.  

The plastic shopping bags can be from any retailer, not only SPAR. An initial order of 300,000 paper shopping bags was placed to accommodate the demand. These are wax-lined, waterproof reusable bags, capable of holding 12 kilogrammes. 

African News Agency/ANA