In a bid to further reduce plastic waste, vegetables in select New World stores are now sold without any packaging. These New World stores have virtually eradicated plastic packaging from their fruit and vegetable sections, noting that the sales of some vegetables have soared by up to 300%. The bold move to wipe-out plastic packaging from the fruit and vegetable section was met with popularity by customers. Some of them find it nostalgic—just like shopping at the old greengrocer, some appreciate the environmental benefits. Furthermore, New World store owner Nigel Bond says that the way in which the produce is stored and maintained has altered. Fruit and vegetables are now “misted” with mineral water. He believes that the produce holds its colour longer, and even acquires additional vitamins from being stored this way.
Supermarkets around New Zealand now look at other ways in which they can minimise plastic waste. New World is currently trialling another initiative—bring your own containers. Certain stores across the country now allow/encourage you to bring your own containers for meats and seafood. The thinking is that there won’t be as much single-use plastic package waste. Besides, the food that people are buying will most likely be cooked, anyway.
Foodstuffs have signed the NZ Plastic Packaging Declaration which is committed to making all store and private label packaging 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.