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SPAR South Africa is on a sustainability journey, determined to eliminate problematic and unnecessary plastic and design new recyclable or reusable packaging.
The retail group determines that SPAR South Africa’s environmental goals include having 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable plastic packaging by 2025. Noting that SPAR is one of the founding members of the South African Plastics Pact.
The Pact aims to create a circular economy that drives investment in infrastructure, supports livelihoods, and keeps our environment free of plastic pollution.
Considering this, the food chain states that they are actively reducing plastic and plastic waste. “Carrier bags sold in SPAR stores nationwide are made from 100% recycled materials and are 100% recyclable. This switch ensures that approximately 4,000 tonnes of plastic waste are diverted from landfills every year, resulting in a 40% reduction in its carbon footprint.”
This ties in nicely with Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy announcing that the government intends to do away with harmful plastics by replacing them with recyclable alternatives.
In an April briefing, she highlighted, “A central focus of all our efforts has been to decrease plastic waste and enhance the recycling of plastics. This is in line with our commitment to reducing plastic waste in the environment and preventing this dangerous pollutant from entering our rivers and oceans.”
Creecy said efforts to reduce plastic waste have spanned across the retail and fast-food sector, where significant initiatives by the Consumer Goods Council to eliminate single-use plastics has been seen.
This includes promoting changes in product design to facilitate recycling and investment in research and development to promote new products made from plastic recyclate.
Government is also in the process of amending plastic bag regulations. Creecy said, as a result, as of 1 January 2021, all plastic bags must be made of a minimum of 50% post-recyclate material and 75% recycled materials from the start of 2025—and must comprise 100% post-consumer recyclate by 2027.
While SPAR South Africa’s efforts to go green are commendable, one of the retail group’s most innovative solutions in keeping our environment free from harmful pollution is introducing a new non-toxic, odourless, and eco-friendly firelighter.
Explaining this, SPAR says, “The product is suitable for indoor fires, barbecues and is made using dung sourced from rhinoceros. Rethinking the way we produce products, this SPAR Own Brand item successfully incorporates a sustainable, environmentally friendly alternative to other more harmful firelighter products. Moreover, each box purchased will see a contribution made on our behalf to the Zululand Rhino Orphanage.”
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