Supermarket chain Foodstuffs has been recognised by the WasteMINZ Awards for Excellence. For the second consecutive year, the company won the award for ‘Best project or initiative in the commercial or public sectors’ for its waste minimisation programme; last year, Foodstuffs won with its recyclable butchery trays. The initiative, launched in 2014 in collaboration with EnviroNZ, currently involves nearly 100 Pak’nSave and New World stores.

“[This award is] a real tribute to the efforts of our stores. After all, they’re in the grocery industry, not the waste industry, so to be making such a great progress is a testament to their dedication and enthusiasm,” said Jennifer Elliott, waste minimisation programme coordinator, Foodstuffs (NZ).

As part of the programme, the company diverts 80 to 90 percent of stores’ waste away from landfills by separating it into ten recycling streams. In the year to 31 August 2016, more than 25,000 tonnes of waste were diverted away from landfill, and two-thirds of Foodstuffs’ stores achieved or exceeded the 80 percent diversion rate goal. “Where possible the programme also aims to have materials utilised within New Zealand, thus further supporting the local economy,” said Elliott.