Foodstuffs is set to launch a new waste prevention programme in celebration of World Oceans Day on Saturday. The group has announced that it will roll out a significant investment in rubbish traps for store-based stormwater drains. 11 New World and PAK'nSAVE stores will install 125 LittaTrap™ catchers from innovative New Zealand company Stormwater360, which will stop toxic waste and plastic flowing through drains to our waterways.

Mike Sammons, sustainability manager for Foodstuffs, is delighted to announce this initiative accompanied by Associate Minister for the Environment, Eugenie Sage and Laurie Foon from the Sustainable Business Network.

“It is our privilege to have the Minister join us to celebrate this new initiative to help clean up our waterways on World Oceans Day. Our pilot will see the installation of 125 LittaTraps in supermarket carparks over coming months, which is part of Foodstuffs’ wider commitment to sustainability.

“Recent trials with single traps at New World Browns Bay and New World New Lynn in Auckland have demonstrated the efficacy of the system. We captured everything from organic leaf matter and cigarette butts to soft plastics, polystyrene beads and straws. If all storm drains at Browns Bay had a LittaTrap installed a total of 7322 pieces of plastic, and other litter could be caught over a 12-month period. Captured waste is carefully disposed of in landfill.”

The Foodstuffs team said that the company is about all about looking after our backyard, and this project with LittaTraps helps the business take responsibility for the waste which runs off the carparks and into the drains.

“Part of being a responsible retailer is also looking beyond our own physical footprint and ensuring we’re not passing on a problem to the wider environment through land, sea or air pollution. Average store recycling rates are now at 85 percent, but some like New World Wellington City have reached a staggering 90 percent recycling, including donating the equivalent of 7,800 meals a month to the local community.

“Over the last few years, we’ve worked hard to reduce our carbon footprint by moving to natural refrigeration and supporting the transition to electric vehicles. We currently have half of New Zealand’s EV fast chargers in our carparks, over 30 EV’s on the road, and we are building three electric lorries in Christchurch.”

Foodstuffs realise there is a lot more work to do, but the co-operatives are well on the way to reducing the use of natural resources and to ensuring that future generations enjoy a cleaner, more sustainable environment.