Being a good person is hard, right? Like, you make yourself a healthy salad and feel smug for a second, but your fantasy of becoming a health influencer are quickly dashed when you see the pile of plastic and polystyrene you’ve just gone through. What’s the point of being healthy if the planet is turning into a massive pile of plastic?
Thankfully Pick n Pay are coming through for the planet and are launching their ‘nude’ aisle, meaning you’re able to buy your fruit and vegetables with absolutely no packaging.
Africa is in the lead when it comes to the war on plastic, and Pick n Pay has *been* doing their part, first by launching their packets that are made up of 100% recycled materials and banning plastic straws, and now this.
We’ve seen package-free food shops pop up, like NUDE FOODS in Cape Town and The Refillery in Johannesburg, but so far no big names have taken the leap yet. Pick n Pay has just rolled out their ‘nude wall’ concept to 13 stores, and hopefully more soon if people use them.
When you walk into one of the selected Pick n Pays you’ll now spot a lush garden of fresh fruit and veg, with no plastic, polystyrene or stickers to be seen. The nude wall will feature items that were previously wrapped in plastic, such as portabellini mushrooms, sweet corn, chillies, baby cabbage and zucchini, all hanging out in the nude the way nature intended.
If the wall proves to be popular Pick n Pay will add more produce to their offering. ‘There is scope to grow our ‘nude’ wall offering, but it needs to be sustainable and without unintended consequences. Reducing plastic waste has obvious benefits, but we need to be careful not to increase food waste levels during the process,’ says Paula Disberry, one of Pick n Pay’s retail executives.
Hardy vegetables, like sweet potatoes, gem squash and butternuts are also getting some work done. Instead of a sticker with their best-before date, these items will now be laser-etched with a logo, supplier code and sell-by date, meaning absolutely no plastic is used on these products.
Did you know that buying produce loose is *way* cheaper than buying them packaged? Surprisingly loose products only account for 10% of Pick n Pay’s fruit and veg sales. They’re hoping their nude wall will up the sales of loose produce, reducing both their food waste and their plastic use.
‘The impact of plastic is now front of mind for customers. We will closely monitor shopping behaviour and if this trial is successful, we can expand the initiative to more stores,’ says Disberry. We’re keen for package-free foods to become the norm, so if your local Pick n Pay has a nude wall start packing your Tupperware along with your reusable bags. Mother Nature thanks you in advance.
The participating Pick n Pays are Claremont, Gardens, Faerie Glen Hyper, Bedfordview, Benmore, Waterfront, Kenilworth, Pinelands, Hyper Durban North, Longbeach Mall, Glengarry, PnP on Nicol and Constantia.
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