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Woolworths is scrapping plastic bags at these 121 stores from November

Retailer Woolworths has sent notice that 121 of its stores around South Africa will be going plastic-bag free from 9 November 2020.


The move comes as part of the group’s vision to have zero packaging waste-to-landfill, and for all packaging to be reusable or recyclable by 2022.


To reach this goal, first announced in 2018, Woolworths said it has been making ‘positive changes’ in stores, by using less packaging, less plastic material in packaging and ensuring that all out packaging is recyclable.


“In our drive to find effective solutions for more sustainable packaging, we’re proud to say that we’ve pioneered several firsts. That’s because we’re constantly working with our suppliers, our technologists, recyclers (collectors, material converters, etc.), producer responsibility organisations and other industry bodies and experts in the field to find the best way forward for us, our customers, our communities and the planet,” it said.


The retailer highlighted several changes it has already made to its packaging, which has resulted in nearly 1,600 tonnes less plastic and cardboard packaging waste being generated.


These changes include:

  • Packaging in its speciality range of tomatoes now comes in a fully recyclable kraft tray made from 65% recycled paper, and a polypropylene lid. These changes resulted in 20 g less plastic per pack or 77 tonnes less plastic, per year from going to landfill.
  • Redesigning most long life herbs & spices packaging, saving 364 tonnes of packaging from going to landfill.
  • Replacing part of its to-go plastic packaging with recyclable paper board, printing directly on the board. Now 5.9 million fewer labels and 32 tonnes less plastic end up in landfill.
  • Introducing a fully-recyclable Earth Friendly range, with all products containing a minimum of 25% recycled plastic
  • Various home care products that now come in 100% recycled plastic bottles


Woolworths is now moving to the next phase of its plan, by weaning shoppers off of single-use plastic bags. It said that these will be phased out at 121 stores from 9 November, on top of the 29 stores that have already adopted the policy.


Woolworth has 452 food stores and 279 fashion, beauty and home stores across the country.


Shoppers at these stores will not be able to purchase plastic bags at till points from this date, and will have to either bring their own bags from home, or purchase longer-term multi-use options in-store, it said.


The full list of stores that will be plastic-bag free from 9 November are listed below:...


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Source: Business Tech