In an environmentally friendly move, one supermarket is letting shoppers bring their own containers to buy fresh meat and seafood.
But would you jump on the bandwagon?
The Auckland supermarket, New World Howick, is trialling a program where customers bring in their own reusable containers to take home fresh meat and seafood.
A New Zealand supermarket is testing a program to let customers take home fresh meat and sea food in their own reusable plastic containers (stock image)
New World Howick announced the program on social media on Thursday.
‘You can now bring in your own reusable containers for our serve overs.’
‘At this stage butchery and seafood serve overs will accept customers bringing in their reusable containers,’ the supermarket announced.
The trial will be limited to the butchery and seafood counters, with the potential to extend to other departments such as the bakery, deli and bulk foods, if the program is successful.
The supermarket is owned by Foodstuffs New Zealand. At this stage, the program has not been extended to other supermarkets.
The supermarket, New World Howick, announced that customers would be able to take home their fresh meat and seafood in their own containers provided that the containers were clean, practical for weighing and safe for handling
Foodstuffs New Zealand spokeswoman Anotinette Laird told FEMAIL:
‘[S]ome of our customers are really into reducing waste of all kinds and are asking to use their own containers at the deli, butchery, bulk foods, seafood and bakery departments.’
However, Foodstuffs said that it’s two main concerns were maintaining food safety and being able to accurately weigh food items.
‘Our customers’ health and safety is a top priority, as is doing whatever we can in conjunction with them to reduce our impact on the environment,’ she said.
The trial, which may be cancelled at any time, has a few conditions.
The program is designed to reduce waste and the use of plastic bags at the fresh meat and seafood serve over counters (stock image)
Customers must use containers with lids that are suitable for weighing and handling and for security reasons, staff must place price labels on the containers.
Ms Laird also emphasised that customers brought in containers at their own risk and were responsible for ensuring that they were clean.
Auckland shoppers were excited about the eco-friendly initiative, setting the Facebook page aflutter by describing the initiative as ‘forward thinking and creative’.
‘This is awesome!!!!’ said one shopper.
‘Wow new world howick. Way to go,’ posted another shopper.
The initiative may not catch on immediately in Australia. The Coles supermarket chain has no plans to allow customers to bring their own containers for fresh meat and seafood.
Would you bring your own containers to the supermarket, or stick to plastic bags for carting home fresh meat and seafood? (stock image)
‘Coles does not allow customers to bring in their own containers to use as it poses a health and safety risk,’ a Coles spokeswoman told FEMAIL.
‘It also makes it very difficult for us to do a thorough investigation if a customer becomes ill and we are unsure where the container used came from,’ she said.
However, the Coles spokeswoman noted that the chain is trying to reduce waste in other ways, confirming that they will be ‘removing single use plastic bags from all Coles supermarkets on July 1.’
Similarly, a spokeswoman for the supermarket chain Woolworths commented:
‘It’s not something we offer at the moment due to food safety and operational reasons, but we are looking for new ways to help customers reduce plastic consumption right across our stores.’
As for waste reduction, Woolworths has introduced a new closed loop recycling program where customers can return soft plastic, including bags and tubs from the delicatessen. The plastics will then be recycled to create products such as outdoor furniture.
Customers can return tubs and bags from the delicatessen to new ‘REDcycle’ bins that Woolworths has introduced across the country.