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Zero plastic in supermarkets might not be realistic

According to Countdown spokeswoman Kiri Hannifan, striking a balance between reducing plastic in the produce aisles and limiting methane emissions from food waste is a balancing act. While the supermarket chain is aiming for the packaging used in its own brands – Macro, Essentials and Countdown's Own – to be reusable or recyclable by 2025, it also aims to end food waste going to landfill by that date.

Countdown has trialled unwrapped produce and is continuing to look at ways to reduce plastic. However, for some produce plastic packaging is necessary to extend shelf life, which in turn help prevent food waste. In those situations supermarket has sourced recycled plastic packaging that can be recycled again, she says.

Dole New Zealand general manager Steve Barton says the company has joined the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme. It is part of an overall drive to reduce fruit loss, packaging waste and carbon emissions and to get to zero fossil-based plastic packaging by 2025.


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