Foodstuffs promotes more sustainable practices

paknsave-papamoa-store-photosFoodstuffs announced they will not be making compostable grocery bags available to its customers and added by the end of the year, they plan to remove single use plastic bags at the checkout across its New World, Pak ‘N Save and Four Square stores across the country.

The food operator also said it plans to introduce more electric vehicle high-speed charging stations in its stores to reduce their customers’ reliance on fossil fuels.

Foodstuffs, which services Pak’nSave, New World, Four Square, Gilmours, Liquorland and Fresh Collective, said the initiatives are part of its commitment to promote sustainable practices.

“We believe these bags are not an option for the New Zealand environment,” the food operator said in a statement.

The food operator said they have been testing a couple of options in selected stores as alternatives to single use plastic bags for customers who shop at their stores without their reusable bags. Their options include a heavy duty reusable plastic bag which can be used a number times but won’t last for years and at the end of its life can safely enter the soft plastics recycling stream, and a paper grocery bag which is suitable for kerbside recycling bins.

Foodstuffs also explained how compostable bags can be environmentally damaging.

“Compostable  – there are two standards here, home compostable and commercially compostable,” the company said. “The majority of rigid bio plastics are only compostable in a municipal composting environment where they require moisture and temperatures of 70 degrees centigrade minimum to breakdown.”

Foodstuffs said if all bio plastics were guaranteed to be correctly disposed of to appropriate composting environments, this would be arguably better than standard single use plastics.

“However, they are not, and there are major flaws in the end of life disposal of these items meaning only a tiny percentage would ever be composted,” the company stated. “The reality is the majority will go to landfill where they are unlikely to breakdown.”

As part of its drive to reduce its customers’ reliance on fossil fuels, Pak ‘N Save has recently unveiled its latest high-speed electric vehicle charging at Pak ‘N Save Queenstown.

According to Foodstuffs, they intend to add more electric vehicle charging stations by the end of 2018. They will add 50 across its New World, Pak ‘N Save and Four Square stores nationwide.

This is being rolled out in collaboration with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and electric vehicle network provider ChargeNet NZ.



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