SPAR’S ‘war on plastic’ ini­tia­tive proves pop­u­lar

Talk of the Town - - News - LOUISE KNOWLES

AS PART of the launch of a new cam­paign to rid the East­ern Cape of plastic bags, all SPAR stores in Port Al­fred and Ken­ton-on-Sea gave shop­pers a new re­cy­clable pa­per bag in ex­change for 10 of their old plastic bags last Friday and Saturday.

Su­per­SPAR man­ager at Rose­hill Mall, Gavin Thessendorf, said 3000 plastic bags were col­lected which will be re­cy­cled.

“It’s a long-last­ing, water-re­sis­tant, wax-sprayed pa­per bag, re­in­forced with han­dles, ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing 12kg and val­ued at R1.90,” he said.

Cus­tomers are still wel­come to bring their old plastic bags in to SPAR, although the spe­cial of­fer is over. The pa­per bags can be bought at any SPAR.

“We are com­mit­ted to rid­ding our town of plastic bags which are not biodegrad­able,” said Tessendorf, “and will of­fer cus­tomers a choice be­tween plastic and pa­per bags”.

With hun­dreds of mil­lions of shop­ping bags in cir­cu­la­tion, su­per­mar­kets are fac­ing a mas­sive chal­lenge to change the consumer’s mind­set.

But SPAR EC man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Con­rad Isaac said they could no longer ig­nore their ac­count­abil­ity in what was be­com­ing an in­creas­ingly harm­ful sit­u­a­tion in the world.

“As the big­gest food re­tailer in the East­ern Cape, I be­lieve we have to take care of the health and well­be­ing of the com­mu­ni­ties in which we op­er­ate,” Isaac said.

“If we carry on in this way and don’t do some­thing about the mess we are cre­at­ing, it can only lead to the even­tual de­struc­tion of our en­vi­ron­ment.

“So the dream is to clean up the place and to work to­wards cre­at­ing a healthy and fresh en­vi­ron­ment in which we can live.”

He an­tic­i­pated the cam­paign would evolve in to a far big­ger project than just plastic bags, one that would even­tu­ally in­cor­po­rate the col­lec­tion and re­cy­cling of all plastic.

Ac­cord­ing to Ju­lian Kout­sou­velis at SPAR Dis­tri­bu­tion Cen­tre EC, the plastic bags col­lected from the pub­lic were sent to a re­cy­cling plant which turns the plastic bags into re­cy­cled pack­ag­ing, water pipes and other prod­ucts.

Picture: LOUISE KNOWLES

WAR ON PLASTIC: Rose­hill Su­per­SPAR tell­ers, Anelisa Fa­mayo, left, and Tabisa Nyaba, helped shop­pers ex­change plastic bags for biodegrad­able SPAR pa­per bags and col­lected about 3000 plastic bag from cus­tomers

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