9 Apr 2013

Supermarkets to stop using plastic for produce

5:19 pm on 9 April 2013

Some of New Zealand's largest supermarkets will stop putting fruit and vegetables on polystyrene meat trays and wrapping them in plastic after thousands of New Zealanders complained.

Supermarket co-operative Foodstuffs - which includes New World, Pak'nSave and Four Square - says it will introduce a new recyclable packaging and restrict the use of polystyrene to meat products.

Foodstuff's sustainability manager Mike Sammons says it is an environmentally responsible retailer and has been working on improving its packaging since 2010.

In 2012, lobby group Unpackit awarded Foodstuffs its Worst Packaging Award because of the fruit and vegetable packaging.

Ten thousand people complained about it in public feedback sought by the group.

Unpackit organiser Gina Dempster says many consumers are strongly against the plastic packaging, which can't be recycled and ends up in landfills, and believes the recyclable packaging isn't needed either.