The trial saw plastic carrier, barrier and fruit and vegetable bags at the store replaced with compostable bags made from starches, cellulose, vegetable oils and combinations.
The compostable bag is produced by an Italian company Novamont. Based on 20 years of research, Novamont had developed a fully biodegradable and compostable bioplastic resin known as Mater-Bi.
At the trial event, Pick n Pay chairperson Gareth Ackerman said much progress has been made since 2003, when the plastic bag levy was introduced in South Africa, to encourage customers to move away from single-use plastic carrier bags, but more needs to be done.
“Sustainable solutions require all parties involved – retailers, government, plastic manufacturers, consumers and recyclers – to work collaboratively and beyond plastic bags to all forms of waste,” he added.
Pick n Pay transformation director Suzanne Ackerman-Berman explained that the bags that were piloted are strong and can be reused. “The important difference [compared with plastic bags] is that they are home compostable. The bags are designed to collect organic waste, such as kitchen scraps, and will compost with the organic waste in a home compost environment.”
The bags will break down after three to six months – depending on the composting system – compared with the reported 500 to 1 000 years for plastic bags. Customers can also bring the bags back to the company’s stores, after which the company will take them to a Pick n Pay compostingfacility.
“Given that this option is still in its infancy in South Africa, there are several considerations to look at before they could be introduced to scale. Currently, for example, there are no integrated large-scale composting facilities available,” said Ackerman-Berman.
Meanwhile, the company last month committed to removing all plastic straws from checkouts and make only paper straws available at its cold-drink kiosks, while store branded earbuds with paper inners will also be introduced.
Additionally, Pick n Pay will introduce 100% recyclable plastic bags in stores from August.
A beautiful Rhino sculpture painted by our local artists is offered to your company in exchange for sponsorship. Your Rhino will have a plaque on its base displaying your brand’s name, logo and mission statement. Your brand’s logo will also be featured on our website, social media platforms and various marketing materials. Some of our Sponsors include: The One & Only Hotel, Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, The Radisson Blu Hotel Group, Motswari Private Game Reserve and Pick ‘n Pay. They are already using their Rhinos on their own social media platforms and for their PR and marketing campaigns in the run up to the Exhibition.
The City of Cape Town is delighted to partner with us on this initiative by enabling Art Rhinos to be exhibited at numerous most-visited iconic tourism sites. This fabulous summer Outdoor Art Exhibition will benefit Cape Town and environs on many different levels. For example, there will also be a special programme working with schools to uplift children living in poverty through art, and other events where your brand will shine.
Our initiative will raise significant funds for projects focused on rhino conservation. This is a fresh, new and less serious fundraising approach to the most serious business of saving our precious rhinos. Proceeds from the auction of the Rhinos after the Exhibition will go to StopRhinoPoaching.com, or an approved Rhino Conservation organisation that you support.
Click on the links below for sponsorship costs and benefits:
Pick n Pay says it will be a customer of GWK Farm Foods, the newest subsidiary of one of SA’s largest agro-processing groups, which launched on Thursday a R400m wheat flour mill and pasta and biscuit factory in Modderrivier, near Kimberley.
The supermarket chain said it would take about R45m, or 4,500 tonnes, of wheat products from the new facility over 12 months.
The factory is the first producer of food-related fast-moving consumer goods in the Northern Cape.
“I was stunned at the figures. It will be huge,” Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, transformation director at Pick n Pay stores, and chairwoman of the Pick n Pay Foundation, said on Thursday. She said the products would initially be traded at Pick n Pay’s inland operations, and then be considered for sale nationally.
The daughter of Pick n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman was among speakers at the launch including members of provincial and national government.
Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Mzwandile Masina said at the launch on Thursday the new GWK factory dovetailed with the government’s vision of boosting agro-processing within the National Development Plan. It would help alleviate poverty, and encourage black farmers to produce quality products to distribute through GWK, helping boost food security in SA.
Tom Meintjes, GM of grain products for GWK Farm Foods, said the group had invested in significant research and development to keep farmers competitive.
It was accredited to agri-sector training authorities and along with support for fertilisers and irrigation, helped shareholders to access appropriate market value chains. “A lot of black farmers are already shareholders in our business,” he said.
The GWK group turned over R8bn last year, making R164m in profits, part of which it redeems to shareholders over a period of years.
It produces meats, and specialty products including pecan nuts, food oils, livestock feed, wine, and potatoes, while providing services such as food storage, processing, distribution, and financing. It also provides fuels and conducts livestock auctions.
Products made at the new factory include spaghetti, penne, macaroni, and white and brown bread, and cake flours for retail and bulk delivery.
The facility produces about 30 tonnes of biscuits a day.
The group employs about 2,000 people across offices in SA and supplies farm inputs to fertiliser companies, such as Omnia.