Pick n Pay is rolling out its new budget green People n Planet reusable bag, after a successful trial with customers earlier this year.

The bag is expected to be available nationally by October.

Pick n Pay has partnered with The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever to sell the first one million green ‘People n Planet’ reusable bags for just R4 per bag.

This will make it one of the lowest priced reusable bag, which is made from recycled plastic in South Africa.

Pick n Pay will even replace it for free, should it break.

The green People n Planet Reusable Bag was initially sold for R5 per bag and trialled in 22 stores in February this year to test customer willingness to purchase a reusable bag as an alternative to a plastic carrier bag.

11 500 bags were sold during the one-month trial, which resulted in a reduction in plastic bag sales across the pilot stores when compared to the same period last year.

Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, transformation director at Pick n Pay, says that this demonstrates that customers are willing to make responsible choices if the right options are available to them at the right price.

Soon to be available in over 700 stores, the new budget reusable bag option will help more customers refuse plastic bags and re-use an alternative.

Made from green recycled PET bottles, the reusable bag promotes the circular economy by turning post-consumer primary packaging (plastic bottles) into secondary packaging (reusable bags).

“Customers who recycle their green plastic bottles and then purchase the new green bag will help keep a product in use and out of the environment,” says Ackerman-Berman.

Through the partnership with The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever to make one million bags, 43.2 tonnes of green recycled PET will be repurposed to make the bags – this equates to the weight of approximately two million 500ml plastic bottles.

Pick n Pay hopes the new reusable bag will create more awareness amongst customers that plastic waste can be repurposed if it is recycled.

“The new bag will include a QR code that customers can scan to see the full lifecycle of the plastic bottle – from the time the bottle is sold to making it into a green Pick n Pay People n Planet reusable bag,” says Ackerman-Berman.

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