Woolworths shoppers will be able to reduce waste by bringing their own containers to take home seafood, meat, and deli items. The company has revealed it is planning to trial an option for customers to provide their own packaging to cut back on disposable plastic.
The food retailer now plans to ask its staff to clean supplied containers before customers are given their orders, the Herald Sun reports.
Swab tests are being conducted to check the efficiency of the cleaning procedures.
Woolworths said they hope to get the trial 'up and running soon' and that they are working with local councils to ensure the 'proposed processes meet or exceed their regulations'.
Woolworths government relations manager Paul Crossley said the 'biggest challenge' would be preventing customers from overcharging because of the container's additional weight. He also said the company wanted to guarantee the system would comply with health and safety laws before it is rolled out.
A Woolworths spokesman said they are 'always looking for ways to run our stores more sustainably'. 'We understand the growing concerns from many of our customers about reducing plastics in our stores and we’re working hard to do just that,' a statement on their website reads. 'Our plan to tackle the plastic problem is focused on eliminating plastic where possible and to work towards ‘closing the loop’ by encouraging recycling through design, technology and clear communication to our customers'.
They have also partnered global zero-waste shopping provider Loop which sells products such as juice, ice cream and shampoo in reusable containers.
From 2021, shoppers will be able to purchase items in environmentally-friendly packaging which is delivered to their door, then picked up once it is empty to be cleaned and reused.
Woolworths has reduced plastic packaging of fruit and vegetables by 500 tonnes over two years. The change follows the supermarket giant's ban on single-use plastic bags in June 2018. Six months later they stopped selling plastic straws in their stores.