A Woolworths spokesperson has confirmed to New Idea Food that they’re closely following the trial in their New Zealand stores - positive news for local shoppers who’ve campaigned hard for less plastic in our supermarkets.
Says the spokesperson: ‘We're committed to reducing our environmental footprint across the Woolworths Group.
‘We'll closely monitor the results from the 10 week trial in our New Zealand supermarkets before determining our next steps with this initiative.
‘Over the last two years we have progressively removed around 1000 tonnes of plastic from our fruit and veg and bakery ranges in Australia.
‘We recognise there is more to do, and will continue to look for new ways to reduce plastic across our range.’
During the 10-week trial, New Zealand shoppers have the option to put loose produce into paper bags or cardboard boxes provided - instead of the regular plastic bags. Customers can also use their own reusable bags during the trial, the first of its kind across the Woolworths group.
While some of the produce cannot be stored in the paper or cardboard options due to health concerns - such as lettuce - a huge range of fruit and veggies can be stored in the non-plastic options.
The supermarket giant has already spent $NZ500k on new shelving, packaging and production changes for the NZ trial - a good sign that the move could be here to stay.
Said one store manager told Stuff.Co.NZ: ‘It's going to take a bit of behaviour change from us all but from what I've seen this morning in my store, customers are really excited about giving it a go and are adapting really well already.’
With the news of the New Zealand trial hitting Facebook today, Australian shoppers were excited about the development.
‘Well done Woolworths, let’s hope they bring it here,’ said one. ‘How good would this be?’ asked another.