Retail group Checkers says it is making steady progress in phasing out harmful plastics in favour of recyclable materials and has made several changes to its product line-up in recent weeks.
This forms part of a commitment to ensuring that 100% of its own-brand packaging is reusable, recyclable and compostable and that it contains on average 30% recycled material content by 2025, the group said.
Checkers said the most notable changes that customers will notice include:
- Checkers will be the first South African retailer to replace its rotisserie chicken packaging with fully recyclable, responsibly sourced cardboard boxes. This will prevent 68 tons of non-recycled multi-layer laminated material from being landfilled every year.
- All paper and carton board packaging used at in-store delis, bakeries and fresh fish sections are now 100% responsibly sourced.
- Private label Crystal Valley Fresh Milk’s bottle cap colour has been changed from blue and red to white, which enables recyclers to eliminate downcycling into darker cap colours like black.
- In the next two months, plastic sandwich punnets will be replaced with a Kraft carton sandwich wedge which has a small window, for easy removal before recycling.
The Shoprite Group also announced that it is increasing its use of renewable energy by installing rooftop solar PV (photovoltaic) installations at more of its Checkers supermarkets. These include
- Oudtshoorn – generating an additional 776,647 kWh of energy;
- Big Bay – generating 185,144 kWh of energy;
- Knysna – generating 613,630 kWh of energy.
Last year the group, which includes Checkers, increased the installed capacity of its solar PV system by 350% as it aims to power 25% of operations with renewable energy by 2027.
“At Checkers we acknowledge that climate change will, directly and indirectly, impact our business and the communities we are a part of. Solar PV plays a significant role in our strategy to mitigate climate change and Checkers is continuously increasing its use of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency costs to reduce its indirect greenhouse gas emissions.
“Installations like these also strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacity of our operations and supply chain,” said Sanjeev Raghubir, sustainability manager at the Shoprite Group.