Plas­tic loses its stand­ing

South Canterbury Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

PHOTO: DOUG FIELD/STUFF

Garry Sheed of Geral­dine Fresh Choice with some of the biodegrad­able pack­ag­ing the su­per­mar­ket now uses.

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