Monday, 13 May 2019

Kiwis have always loved BYO

Kiwis have always loved BYO –bring your own containers is soon to be official at all New World, PAK’nSAVE and Four Square North Island stores


Tania, who writes a blog called The Zero Waste Way, was beside herself when she got a sneak preview of the new BYO policy at Foodstuffs stores. The policy will see customers able to use their own clean, leak-proof containers over the counter at their instore butchery, seafood, delicatessen and bakery. The policy kicks off from June 1st, 2019 but will go live in New World Long Bay which opens on May 28 in Auckland.

“Last year we decided to start making a conscious effort to reduce the amount of waste we produce in our household. We challenged ourselves to get rid of our rubbish bin and we began relying on recycling and composting as our main forms of waste disposal. Taking my own containers and bags with me has become a way of life. So, I was super excited to hear that Foodstuffs are leading the way and are now making it easier to reduce waste with BYO containers. I’ve been annoying my local stores and the head office team for a while now, and I’m thrilled that the message has gotten through.”

Mark Casey, Group Manager Regulatory Services at Foodstuffs North Island, says, “We’ve run successful trials at a number of our stores where we worked out what we had to do for customers to bring their own containers. It’s not as simple as it looks. We take our responsibilities as a retailer of food very seriously – food safety is a top priority, so making sure our customers’ groceries aren’t compromised through poor hygiene is very important.”
The service is only available at counter departments in store at this point. This is for two key reasons; a. it means the store can give containers the onceover and make sure they are fit for purpose and clean, and b. that the weight of the container is subtracted from the weight of the product being purchased.

“Many people don’t realise that products must be sold minus the cost packaging might add to a product. That’s why we restrict BYO to counters where we can subtract the weight of the container and produce a price label for the cost of the product only,” says Casey. This means that for now products from bulk bins aren’t included.

“We have to make quite significant changes to the way we operate to take the BYO option storewide, but this new policy in our counter areas is a major step towards zero waste.”
Encouraging customers to reuse containers is just one of the many initiatives Foodstuffs (owners of New World, PAK'nSAVE and Four Square) has underway to help reduce New Zealanders’ environmental foot print.

Mike Sammons, Foodstuffs Head of Sustainability says, “We’ve given away millions of reusable shopping bags, we encourage customers to bring reusable produce bags, we’re trialling home compostable produce bags and now we’re inviting people to bring their own containers. It all adds up to reducing packaging waste,” says Sammons.

Among other initiatives to cut out plastic in store, like ‘Food in the Nude’ in produce, a new and exclusive Ecostore refillery in New World Durham Street in Christchurch, and using different products for wrapping pallets, Sammons says reusable containers, like reusable bags and boxes, are totally where we should all be heading.

Meanwhile Tania will be heading instore to New World Regent to stock up on fresh foods from the deli and bakery, using her container of choice. “If we all take small steps each day to reduce our waste it will make a huge difference.”

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