South African supermarket to do away with all wasteful packaging by 2022

Woolworths save the planet

The Woolworths big bosses have heard consumers concerns over wasteful packaging and are making some big changes to combat the problem and do away with all non-recyclable packaging.


Woolworths has just announced that it plans to be the first retailer in South Africa to reduce its wasteful packaging and contribute zero packaging waste to landfills. The company plans to introduce 100% recyclable materials and offer a supportive recycling infrastructure.

This announcement has come on World Environment Day, where the goal this year, is to beat plastic pollution. A welcomed announcement to all!

With the final goal being 2022, they will be phasing out of unnecessary single-use plastics, and are committing to all packaging to be either reusable or recyclable. This goes along with their standing plans to phase out single-use plastic shopping bags by 2020.

“Today’s announcement follows extensive customer research and engagement, both formally and through social media channels that shed light on both customer recycling habits and entrenched customer perceptions,” 

“We know that many of our customers fully support our zero packaging waste to landfill journey and they want to see it happen as fast as possible. But this is not a path that we can walk alone. To succeed, we need our customers, our suppliers and the South African recycling industry to work with us.”

“Critical to the success of these ambitious goals is the continued commitment to partner with government and industry (recyclers, packaging converters, producer responsibility organisations) to develop technically and commercially viable solutions to recycling different plastics.” – Zyda Rylands, Woolworths South Africa CEO.

Zyda Rylands has confirmed that selected Woolworths stores have been trialling various methods to engage customers on the new plastic reduction efforts, including:

  • Wooden cutlery and paper straws are being rolled out in NowNow and WCafes;
  • Plastic straws are no longer available for purchase in store;
  • Paper-stemmed earbuds will be replacing plastic one in October, with no more plastic ones being sold in stores;
  • A pilot coffee cup recycling programme is currently underway in NowNow stores;
  • Recycling vending machines allowing customers can bring in their recyclables are being trialled;
  • Woolworths is also trialling a new range of affordable reusable shopping bags

Sources: BusinessTech
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Tyler Vivier
Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy. Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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