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Pasadena and Frewville Foodlands farewell single-use produce bags

Sustainability Matters

September 14, 2020

Pasadena and Frewville Foodlands have introduced compostable bags throughout their stores for fresh fruit and vegetables, deli items and baked goods, reportedly becoming the first supermarkets in Australia to eliminate single-use plastic produce bags.

The initiative — set to save more than 3 million plastic bags or 7 tonnes of soft plastic from going into landfill — is the result of a partnership with KESAB to reduce the store’s waste and environmental impact.

Made in South Australia by BioBag, the certified compostable bags are made from corn starch, a renewable resource, and unlike biodegradable plastic bags do not leave microplastics or toxic residues behind. BioBags break down just like plants in a composting environment and can go straight into the household green bin or home compost bin.

The initiative follows Pasadena and Frewville Foodlands accepting BYO containers and discontinuing the in-house use of single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery, which will be banned in early 2021 after legislation passed through the South Australian Parliament last week.

Adelaide’s Finest Supermarkets Director Spero Chapley said the introduction of the compostable bags was another step towards reducing the stores’ impact on the environment.

“The partnership with KESAB has been invaluable in better understanding our environmental impact and how this can be minimised,” Chapley said.

“We’re working with KESAB to better understand the issues with biodegradability of key products and what other alternatives are available, and continue to conduct a department-by-department approach.

“We’ve already reintroduced paper bags at the checkout and continue to work closely with our suppliers to reduce the amount of plastic used in product packaging, particular[ly] fresh fruit and vegetables,” he said.

“The outcomes achieved so far demonstrate improvement in community understanding of environmental sustainability issues, and this has led to behavioural change and increased participation in programs by our community.”

SA Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs, who helped launch the BioBag initiative, welcomed the move to reduce the use of single-use plastics.

“South Australia has always led the way when it comes to waste management and Foodland’s move to compostable bags for fresh fruit and vegetables is just another great example of this,” Minister Speirs said.

“Just last week the state government passed legislation to ban certain single-use plastics from early 2021 and this initiative from Foodland really puts them ahead of the curve.

“We know there is significant community support to reduce the use of single-use plastics and I welcome business and industry taking early action before our ban kicks in.”

KESAB Environmental Solutions CEO Wendy Bevan has been proudly working with Adelaide’s Finest Supermarkets to reduce environmental impact and is thrilled to see the leadership taken to voluntarily remove single-use plastic produce bags in stores.

“This complements the existing waste reduction and environmental initiatives we have been working with them on such as Pack & Go,” Bevan said.

“With the SA Government moving to ban the first wave of single-use plastics in the short term, this commitment by Pasadena and Frewville Foodlands shows that businesses can be environmentally proactive ahead of any legislation and KESAB certainly hopes other supermarkets take their lead from this initiative.”

Image caption: Adelaide’s Finest Supermarkets Director Spero Chapley with a customer.

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Waste Management & Recycling