Food Lover's Market has banned plastic bags in all national corporate stores as of 1 December 2019, and will only be offering paper bags, boxes and Food Lover's Market canvas bags going forward. The decision comes after its successful implementation of paper straws in 2018 and the positive response to the implementation of a ban on plastic bags in Western Cape stores during 2019.
According to the fresh produce retailer, this is a natural progression from the free farmers' boxes that it has been offering consumers for more than 25 years and the branded Food Lover’s Market boxes that’s been available in stores for the past few years.
Says Siglinda Losch, sustainability manager for the Food Lover’s Market Group, “As a retailer - firmly committed to living our values and embracing our responsibility to the environment and climate change - it was a no-brainer to implement a ban on plastic bags in our corporate stores nationally. The response from consumers has been overwhelmingly positive as the paper bag itself is very strong and can be used seven times on average, carrying weight of about 10kg.”
Further to the ban on plastic bags, Food Lover’s Market is also introducing reduced plastics on some festive bakery range items. Cake rounds and loaves will not have plastic domes or bases and have been replaced with a board box. Additionally, the cakes are wrapped in cellophane to keep it fresh.
Finally, as the retailer looks to 2020, the gourmet butchery counters of three Western Cape-based stores – Willowbridge, Brackenfell and Pinehurst – are all trialling biodegradable trays with fully recyclable cling film. Shoppers have been invited to give the retailer feedback of their experience with the new reduced plastic offering at these three gourmet butchery counters, with the expectation of rolling this out to other gourmet butchery counters next year.
The plastic-free solutions available in Food Lover’s Market stores include:
• Buy a paper bag for R2.00.
• Pick up a free farmers box at till points or a sturdier branded box for R15.
• Some Food Lover’s Market’s have olive oil and water in dispensers - bring your own containers for refills.
• Buy in bulk to cut down on unnecessary plastics.
• Consider purchasing your fruit and veg from the bins and not pre-packaged.
• Buy a strong, reusable shopper in store for R19.99.
• Buy a ‘keep cup’ at Seattle Coffee Co stores, and in-store smoothie and juice departments. Seattle Coffee Co incentivises the use of the ‘keep cup' by giving consumers a 10% discount at cafes and R2 off when buying a Seattle coffee at a Freshstop at Caltex.