Plas­tic bin-liner sales up ahead of bag ban

Su­per­mar­kets urge shop­pers to opt for al­ter­na­tive prod­ucts

Weekend Herald - - News - Alice Pea­cock

Kiwi shop­pers con­cerned about the loom­ing erad­i­ca­tion of plas­tic su­per­mar­ket bags are bulk-buy­ing more plas­tic to line their rub­bish bins.

Some su­per­mar­kets are re­port­ing a spike in sales of pack­aged bin lin­ers and are now try­ing to en­cour­age more eco-friendly al­ter­na­tives, such as news­pa­per, so con­sumers don’t sim­ply re­place plas­tic with plas­tic.

Whole­sale su­per­mar­ket sup­plier Gil­mours said or­ders from su­per­mar­kets for plas­tic bags and straws had halved in the past six months as sin­gle-use bags were phased out.

An­toinette Laid, Food­stuffs NZ spokes­woman, said the re­duc­tion was “dra­matic”.

“The mes­sage about re­duc­ing plas­tic waste is get­ting through to all lev­els of the com­mu­nity in­clud­ing cafes, take­aways and small re­tail busi­nesses.”

Sales of al­ter­na­tives such as pa­per bags and pa­per straws had in­creased 150 per cent.

Like ev­ery other Food­stuffs brand, Gil­mours would cease to of­fer sin­gleuse plas­tic bags at the check­out from Jan­uary 1.

While some al­ter­na­tives — re­us­able bags and pa­per or alu­minium straws — were straight for­ward, the phas­ing out of plas­tic bags left some con­sumers at a loss on how to clean up af­ter pets or deal with rub­bish.

A spokes­woman for Count­down, which came un­der the Wool­worths New Zealand um­brella, said the com­pany had seen a boost in sales of bin lin­ers.

“We have a range of these avail­able to pur­chase in stores in­clud­ing com­postable op­tions,” she said.

“We’re also keen to share ideas about po­ten­tial al­ter­na­tives with our cus­tomers. For ex­am­ple, we re­cently posted a Face­book video on how to make bin lin­ers out of news­pa­per.”

Count­down set the ball rolling this year with its prom­ise to ban sin­gle-use plas­tic bags by year’s end. It would, how­ever, con­tinue to sell plas­tic bin lin­ers in store.

A spokesper­son for Food­stuffs, which owned Pak’n Save, New World and Four Square stores, said sales data for bin lin­ers was dif­fi­cult to ac­cess.

“What we can say is that we urge shop­pers to con­sider the en­vi­ron­ment when shop­ping for bin lin­ers, and per­haps even use no liner at all,” he said.

For those who were not keen on go­ing sans-liner, a few en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious stores of­fer degrad­able and com­postable bags.

Eco Bags NZ is one. The com­pany, which started up 12 years ago, sup­plies its prod­ucts to se­lected Food­stuffs and Wool­worths su­per­mar­kets na­tion­wide and smaller re­tail­ers. Spokes­woman Clancy Sim­monds said de­mand from su­per­mar­kets had in­creased in re­cent months, and Eco Bags now sup­plied a larger num­ber of smaller re­tail­ers too.

“There are a bunch of lit­tle on­line places pop­ping up now too, peo­ple want­ing to be­come re­tail­ers of sus­tain­able prod­ucts,” Sim­monds said. Mean­while, smaller busi­nesses are set­ting up, sell­ing ecofriendly al­ter­na­tives for in­di­vid­u­als and smaller re­tail­ers.

Eco Straws is one such busi­ness, started by Auck­lan­ders Rose Brown­lie and Alex Sue af­ter be­ing in­spired by a re­cent trip to Bali. “We no­ticed that the bars, restaurants and cafes all utilised re­us­able straws in­stead of plas­tic,” Brown­lie said. “In New Zealand we have a clean and green rep­u­ta­tion, but we are still over­fill­ing our land­fills with plas­tic and not think­ing about ma­te­ri­als that can be reused.” The busi­ness, which was cur­rently based on­line, sold a range of alu­minium straws as well as a pa­per op­tion and pipe clean­ers.

Photo / File

More peo­ple are choos­ing to do their sip­ping through pa­per straws.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.