FOODSTUFFS TRAPS PLASTIC

Foodstuffs North Island has launched a new pilot programme to stop waste flowing to the sea.

Launched on World Oceans Day (8 June), the programme is a significant investment in rubbish traps for store-based stormwater drains. Eleven New World and PAK’nSAVE stores are installing 125 LittaTrap™ catchers from New Zealand company Stormwater360 – a move to stop toxic waste and plastic flowing through drains to waterways.

Mike Sammons, Sustainability Manager for Foodstuffs, says recent trials with single traps at New World Browns Bay and New World New Lynn in Auckland have demonstrated the efficacy of the system.

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“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 7,322 pieces of plastic and other litter could be caught over a 12-month period. Captured waste is carefully disposed of in landfill.”

In 2017, Foodstuffs removed all health and beauty products containing plastic microbeads and in 2018 stopped selling plastic cotton buds, plastic tampon applicators. It also stopped giving out singleuse plastic bags at checkout.

Further trials are currently underway to replace plastic produce bags and a new zero-packaging ‘refillery concept’ has been launched in New World stores in Long Bay, Auckland and Durham Street in Christchurch.

“Part of being a responsible retailer,” say Sammons, “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%, but some like New World Wellington City have reached 90% 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 EVs on the road and we are building three electric lorries in Christchurch.”

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