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Supermarket chain packs more to issue less

Supermarket chain packs more to issue less

A supermarket chain aims to reduce the number of plastic bags taken home by shoppers by nearly 50 per cent.

Pack 7 is an initiative by Progressive Enterprise supermarkets to encourage staff to pack seven items in customers' shopping bags.

With the average number of items packed currently at 3.8, there is a potential saving of nearly 50 per cent in the number of bags taken home by shoppers.

Pack 7 operates in all Foodtown, Woolworths, Price Chopper, Countdown and Big Fresh supermarkets nation-wide and is part of the company's involvement in the Ministry of Environment's Reduce Your Rubbish campaign.

Progressive Enterprises chief operating officer Richard Umbers says Pack 7 was originally introduced in Foodtown and Countdown supermarkets and has now been extended to all stores in the group.

"As a group, we are keen supporters of the reduce campaign and Pack 7 is our initial company-wide reduction programme.

"Also, research tells us that most shoppers reuse their check-out bags for a variety of things such as gardening or carrying wet togs and towel. There appears to be no hard and fast statistics on this but anecdotal reports suggest between 60 and 80 per cent are reused."

Mr Umbers says the company chose seven as it is the ideal number of items without making the bag too heavy.

"We are firmly committed to the reduce, reuse, recycle campaign," Mr Umbers says, "and we will be announcing new initiatives as they evolve."

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