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SPAR South Africa Western Cape stores go plastic bag free

July 6, 2018 IN THE CATEGORY: Environment, Responsible retailing

SPAR South Africa has once again stepped up to the plastic waste reduction challenge, encouraging customers to think about how much plastic they use and throw away. 

In honour of International Plastic Bag Free Day on 3 July, all SPAR stores in the Western Cape and Namibia went without plastic bags at checkout counters. Instead, shoppers were given free, brown paper bags, which are a lot more bio-degradable.  Addressing media at the Two Oceans Aquarium, Mario Santana, Managing Director of SPAR Western Cape said: “As one of South Africa’s leading retailers, we have a huge role to play in changing the culture around the use of plastic instore. It’s no longer a question of if we should add our voice to the global commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle, but how.” On this occasion, Mr Santana announced the introduction of fully recyclable (8% chalk) bags in Western Cape and Namibian stores. This will ensure that any bags sold in SPAR stores will be fully recyclable.

The campaign, supported by instore posters, as well as print and social media, encourages SPAR customers to take ownership of the problem and stop using the conventional plastic shopping bag altogether. Customers are encouraged to:

  • Bring their own shopping bag
  • Buy a SPAR brown paper bag
  • Buy a SPAR canvas bag
  • Carry their groceries to their cars
  • And only as a last option, to buy a plastic bag – but to recycle responsibly

This latest move follows a similar campaign run by SPAR South Africa’s Eastern Cape (EC) division earlier this year and forms part of a larger campaign that SPAR South Africa has invested in over the last four years, aimed at reducing the use of plastic bags.

The SPAR EC campaign encouraged shoppers to swop plastic bags for paper bags. In two days, members of the public were given a paper bag free of charge for every 10 plastic shopping bags brought to any one of SPAR’s Eastern Cape outlets. It was a move hailed by environmental groups as a major development

While there’s still a long way to go in battling the plastic waste issue, it’s encouraging to see campaigns like these being developed to help customers move away from single-use plastic carrier bags.

Source: SPAR South Africa


About SPAR South Africa

SPAR South Africa was established in 1963 and operates four retail formats: SPAR, SPAR Express (operated in conjunction with Shell as a petrol forecourt store), KWIKSPAR (which focuses on convenience in city centres and high footfall locations) and SUPERSPAR (similar to EUROSPAR in offer).

South Africa was the first country outside of Europe to join the SPAR organisation. In 2013, a complete revamp of the service departments took place, focusing attention on the level of service instore and the professionalism of staff. SPAR South Africa grants licences to independent retailers to operate stores under one of the four formats, with almost all of the current store portfolio being independently owned.