Pick n Pay trials plastic and packaging-free fruit and veg section

Pick n Pay has launched a ‘nude’ fruit and vegetable produce wall – a dedicated plastic and packaging-free zone in 13 stores across the country as part of a trial to measure customers’ readiness to switch from pre-packaged food to loose products.

The ‘nude wall’ will include 12 new seasonal loose PnP fruit and vegetables: brown steak mushrooms, portabellini mushrooms, red & green chillies, cocktail tomatoes, sweet Palermo peppers, baby brinjals, green beans, broccoli, zucchini, sweet corn and baby cabbage.

These join the other 35 loose fruit and vegetables (number varying between seasons) that were already available to customers, Pick n Pay said.

Paper bags will be available to customers at the ‘nude’ produce wall to complete their plastic-free shop.

“For a further sustainable option, customers can purchase PnP’s new reusable netted fruit & vegetable fresh produce bag (R7,50) or bring their own transparent and sealable reusable bag for loose selling produce,” the retailer said.

Currently, the sale of loose products accounts for only 10% of all fruit and vegetables sold in PnP stores.

“There is scope to grow our ‘nude’ wall offering, but it needs to be sustainable and without unintended consequences. Reducing plastic waste has obvious benefits, but we need to be careful not to increase food waste levels during the process,” said Paula Disberry, retail executive: commercial at Pick n Pay.

“Previously our loose produce range wasn’t as popular as our pre-packed products. We believe this is shifting as consumers become increasingly more conscious about the environment. The impact of plastic is now front of mind for customers. We will closely monitor shopping behaviour and if this trial is successful, we can expand the initiative to more stores.”

Stickers have also been removed from some of Pick n Pay’s existing loose range – sweet potatoes, gem squash and butternut – and replaced with laser printing.

Store participating in the ‘nude’ fruit and vegetable produce wall trial include:

  • Claremont
  • Gardens
  • Faerie Glen Hyper
  • Bedfordview
  • Benmore
  • Waterfront
  • Kenilworth
  • Pinelands
  • Hyper Durban North
  • Longbeach Mall
  • Glen Garry
  • PnP On Nicol
  • Constantia

Read: Pick n Pay CEO scores massive R32 million payday

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Pick n Pay trials plastic and packaging-free fruit and veg section