Sales of some vegetables have soared by up to 300 per cent following moves by a number of New Zealand supermarkets to ditch plastic packaging.
A group of New World supermarkets have abandoned the use of plastic wrapping for virtually all of their fruit and vegetables in a project labelled 'food in the nude'. Pioneered by the New World store at Bishopdale in Christchurch, it has led to stunning sales figures.
"When we first set up the new shelving our customers were blown away," he says. "It reminded me of when I was a kid going to the fruiterer with my Dad, you could smell the fresh citrus and spring onions. By wrapping products in plastic we sanitise and deprive people of this experience; it (dispensing with plastic) was a huge driver for us."
Of the 300 million tons of plastic produced worldwide every year, half is used just once and thrown away, while only nine per cent is recycled. In New Zealand about 252,000 tonnes of plastic waste goes into landfill each year, a significant amount also ending up in our waterways and ultimately the sea.
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