Plastic loses its standing
cost to the business; we do not pass it on to the customer.’’
Sheed is in the process of trialling cardboard pottles to replace plastic ones at the deli.
Over the last three years he has cut the shop’s waste to landfill by two-thirds, through baling and recycling cardboard and plastic and offering free paper bags to customers in the produce section.
‘‘There was a crazy amount of waste.’’
Since January, 22 tonnes of cardboard and 3 tonnes of plastic have been sent to be recycled.
Sheed is big on educating the public about which product goes in which bin.
‘‘Tourists dump whatever in whatever.’’
He would like to see worldwide uniform colours for recycling bins.
’’We all need to sing the same tune and have the same coloured bins so we gel together with other countries and the education process is seamless.’’
Sheed’s main concern is to find a supplier offering 100 per cent biodegradable plastic bags, ones that will rot in the landfill within a decent timeframe.
‘‘The branding on the bags also has to be [biodegradable] because ink is not.’’
It was not just the availability of the bags that had to be considered, but cost and a consistent supply. Paper bags were expensive and items fell out the bottom, he said.
The Grocery Industry Council had worked with Progressive Enterprises on trialling bio bags. Progressive is the franchisor for locally owned Fresh Choice and Supervalue supermarkets and owner/operator of Countdown.
’’They (bags) either can’t be supplied in large quantities or are not bio under the New Zealand testing conditions.’’
Sheed credited Timaru District Council’s waste minimisation for assisting businesses like his to reduce waste to landfill. But it was not only supermarkets; he said there were many industries putting effort into the same goal. He hopes by the end of September he will find a suitable bio replacement for the deli punnets.
Garry Sheed of Geraldine Fresh Choice with some of the biodegradable packaging the supermarket now uses.