Pick n Pay is rolling out its new budget green People n Planet reusable bag nationally after a successful trial earlier this year.
The bag is expected to be available in all stores by mid-October.
Pick n Pay has partnered with The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever to sell the first one-million of these reusable bags at R4 each.
The retailer says this will make it one of the lowest priced reusable bags made from recycled plastic in South Africa to date.
In addition to the low price, should the bag ever break, Pick n Pay will replace it for free.
The green People n Planet bag was initially sold for R5 each and trialled in 22 stores in February to gauge customer interest in buying an affordable reusable bag as an alternative to a plastic carrier bag.
Over the one-month trial period, 11 500 bags were sold, which resulted in a reduction in plastic bag sales across the pilot stores when compared to the same period last year.
Pick n Pay transformation director Suzanne Ackerman-Berman says this demonstrates that customers are willing to make responsible choices if the right options are made available at the right price.
Soon to be available in over 700 stores, the new budget reusable bag option is anticipated to help more customers refuse the plastic bag and instead opt for a reusable alternative.
Made from green recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, the reusable bag promotes the circular economy by turning post-consumer primary packaging (plastic bottles) into secondary packaging (reusable bags).
“Customers who recycle their green plastic bottles and then purchase the new green bag will help keep a product in use and out of the environment,” says Ackerman-Berman.
Through the partnership with The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever to produce the first one-million bags, 43.2 t of green recycled PET will be repurposed – this equates to the weight of about two-million 500 mℓ plastic bottles.
Coca-Cola Southern and East Africa president Bruno Pietracci says this partnership helps ensure its green PET bottles are given a second life. “These reusable bags are part of our ambitious World Without Waste strategy through which we aim to promote a circular economy by collecting and recycling a bottle for every one we sell by 2030.”
Pick n Pay hopes the new reusable bag will create more awareness among customers that plastic waste can be repurposed if it is recycled.
“The new bag will include a QR code that customers can scan to see the full lifecycle of the plastic bottle – from the time the bottle is sold to making it into a green Pick n Pay People n Planet reusable bag,” says Ackerman-Berman.