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Pick n Pay Keeps Recycling At Top Of Sustainability Agenda For More Than Two Decades

  • 3 min read

For over two decades, Pick n Pay has placed recycling at the top of its sustainability agenda. The retailer has been one of the key sponsors of the National Beach and River Clean-ups for the past 25 years – the latest of which takes place this September during Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week when thousands of tonnes of waste is collected and recycled by thousands of volunteers who remove litter from rivers, streams, beaches and oceans.

Pick n Pay will also host two clean-ups on International Coastal Clean-up Day, this Friday, 17 September. Hosted in partnership with local environmental organisations, these Pick n Pay events create an exciting opportunity for customers to play an active part in reducing the environmental impact of waste.

Since 2020, Pick n Pay has undertaken close to 30 beach and river clean-ups across the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng, with strict Covid-19 safety protocols in place. Further clean-ups for the Free State, Northern Cape and Mpumalanga are currently being planned for 2022.

Pick n Pay’s commitment to reduce the impact of single-use plastic and packaging by 2025 extends far beyond beach clean-ups. It includes significant public commitments to increase packaging recyclability and recycled content, reducing packaging weight and making it easier for customers to recycle packaging through clear recycling labelling on products.

In its previous financial year, Pick n Pay, through its national stores recycling programme, recycled or recovered more than 60% of the total tonnes of waste generated. This included:

·        2,234 tonnes of plastic

·        19,943 tonnes of cardboard and paper

·        10,260 tonnes of metal

Some of Pick n Pay’s packaging and recycling achievements in the past financial year include:

  • Replacing 8 million plastic straws with paper straws
  • Selling 1.6 million reusable bags from recycled PET. (11 million plastic bottles has been used in the manufacture of their re-usable bags over the past 5 years)
  • Removing 6,000 tonnes of plastic from the environment for the manufacture of its 100% recycled content plastic bags
  • Collaboration with Designed for Earth to develop and online tool that enables packaging design teams to easily determine which materials to use to ensure the final product is recyclable
  • Increasing the use of recycled materials in Pick n Pay Clothing ranges, with more than 1.5 million clothing items with recycled content sold.

“Pick n Pay is committed to accelerating the shift to a circular economy. The recent gazetting of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme, was a very positive turning point for how industry and brand owners manage their packaging. As a signatory of The SA Plastic Pact and the Ellen MacArthur New Plastics Global Commitment, we continue to support collaborative efforts, which drive positive change for our customers at scale.”