Woolworths just announced a new ‘green’ initiative that will allow shoppers to use their own reusable containers when filling up at the supermarket’s deli, meat, and seafood counters.
Customers can now simply let a Woolies team member behind the counter know that they’ve brought their own container and team members will adjust the tare weight to their container, fill it, and provide a printed barcode sticker to scan at the checkout.
Woolworths is currently trialing the scheme across Tasmania as well as in Brisbane’s West End store and Sydney’s Crows Nest branch. The supermarket is expected to continue the roll-out in NSW and Victoria early next year.
Woolworths Group Chief Sustainability Officer, Alex Holt, said the initiative aims to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags and wrapping to help customers shop more sustainably.
“Across the community, we’re increasingly adding reusable packaging to our regular routines – whether it be reusable cups for our morning coffee or bringing our own bags to the supermarket,” she said.
“We hope our new BYO container program will be no different, and that together with our customers we can help reduce the amount of single-use plastic in their grocery shop.”
For food and operational safety, the supermarket said containers brought by customers to be filled in-store must have a sealable lid, be clean and in good condition, and not be glass or single-use. The BYO container program is currently limited to deli, meat, and seafood counters. It cannot be used to pack salads sold by volume.
“The potential impact of a small change like this is huge. If every customer brought their own deli container, an average store could save up to 10,000 plastic containers a year,” Holt said.
Woolworths also previously switched out its popular plastic collectables for a more sustainable alternative earlier this year, with Woolworths Bricks offering shoppers a set of fully recyclable collectables made from 80% recycled material.
The supermarket chain also claims it has improved the packaging of more than 550 of its private label products and fresh produce by ditching thousands of tonnes of plastic from various milk bottles, meat trays, produce packaging, and bakery containers.
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