You can now bring your own containers to some Pick n Pay stores and load up on fruit and veg, instead of having it packaged in plastic.

Some 13 stores will now feature “plastic and packaging-free” produce zones - called “nude zones” - as part of a trial to see if customers can be convinced to switch from pre-packaged food to buying loose products.

Customers can bring their own containers to pack the fruit and vegetables – provided the containers are transparent and sealable.

The store will also sell reusable netted fruit and vegetable bags (R7.50) if you don’t have a container. Pick n Pay wants to increase the sale of loose products in its aisles, which now accounts for only 10% of all fruit and vegetables sold in its stores.

Further innovation comes in the form of laser-etched veggies like sweet potatoes, gem squash and butternut, to reduce printing plastic labels.

“Even if a small label is used on a single product, the label backing is still plastic. The laser removes the top layer of skin on hardy vegetables and etches the Pick n Pay logo, supplier code and sell-by date directly onto the individual product. This means zero plastic is used on these products,” says Disberry.

Plastic has been used in stores to keep produce fresh, protect the item, prevent dehydration and extend both the shelf and home life for the customer.

21 October 2019

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