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Pick n Pay

Environmental

RESPONSIBILITY

As a leading retailer, we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and encouraging our suppliers and others to do so as well. Reducing our environmental footprint helps us manage environmental risk and achieve cost reductions.
FROM GREEN BOTTLE 
 TO GREEN BAG

MEET THE PNP BUDGET BAG.

Kind to your budget, and kind to
the planet

that’s why we created our People n Planet reusable Green Budget Bags

We take green plastic bottles like Sprite and recycle 100% of the plastic, turning them into affordable reusable shopping bags! We’ve partnered with The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever to keep the cost of our reusable Green Budget bags as low as possible – R4 each for the first million bags sold. This means that fewer green plastic bottles go to landfill, find out more about the process by clicking on the steps below.

Green Bag Value chain:

Working towards circular systems to reduce plastic waste

By driving an increase in demand for reusable bags made out of rPET bottles, Pick n Pay is working towards a circular system that will drive job creation through the value chain and boost the textile sector. Each green People n Planet reusable bag is manufactured from approximately two green PET bottles.

The following infographic shows the process through which green PET bottles are turned into reusable bags. This is an entirely South African process using local post-consumer PET bottles combined with local collection and recycling.

PET bottles
manufactured
>
Sold by
retailers
>
Recycled by customers
>
Collected by informal collectors and recycled by formal recyclers
>
Recyclables separated and baled
>
PET bottles sorted, ground into flakes and rinsed
>
Flakes turned into fibre
>
Fibre used to manufacture polyester fabric
>
Polyester used to make Green Budget reusable bags
>
1

PET Bottles manufactured

PET (polyethylene terephthalate), is a form of polyester and is widely used in the manufacturing of packaging. PET is moulded or blown into plastic bottle containers for beverages, food packaging, personal care products, and many other products. Recycled green PET (rPET) can be used to manufacture a variety of new products, including polyester textiles, automotive parts, and strapping.

2

Sold by retailers

Close to 70% of virgin PET is used in South Africa to produce beverage bottles. This includes carbonated soft drinks, milk, bottled water, juice, energy and sports drinks. PET is labelled with the number 1 code, which is usually displayed on the label of the product or on the bottom of the bottle.

3

Recycled by customers

PET is one of the most recycled packaging types in South Africa. According to PETCO, 63% of PET bottles were recycled in 2018. Clear PET has a very high recycling value, and it is important to ensure that it is kept out of the waste stream and out of landfills. Green PET has a lower recycling value than clear PET and Pick n Pay is attempting to incentivise the collection of green PET by increasing its use in our reusable bags. PET bottles can be recycled at Pick n Pay stores, at community drop off sites or via a home recycling service (if available).

4

Collected by informal collectors and recycled by formal recyclers

South Africa has a successful formal recycling industry. According to Plastic SA, South Africa achieved a 46% input plastics recycling rate in 2018 by converting 352 000 tonnes of plastic refuse into raw materials, while Europe reported a rate of 31%. Much of this success stems from the informal recycling sector, which plays a very important role in diverting post-consumer recyclables from landfill in South Africa. It is estimated that there are more than 50 000 informal collectors in South Africa, who supply up to 80% of packaging to the formal recycling industry.

As PET is one of the highest recycled plastics in South Africa, PET recycling plays a very important role in sustaining job creation in the local recycling industry.

5

Recyclables separated and baled

Once recyclables have been collected, the materials are taken to material recovery facilities or buy back centres. Recyclables are separated at these facilities and baled for transport to recycling facilities. Green PET bottles are separately baled from clear PET.

6

PET bottles sorted, ground into flakes and rinsed

After arriving at the recycling facilities the bales of green bottles are opened up and further sorted on a conveyor belt to remove any other colours or contaminants. After the bottles have been sorted, they are ground into flakes, rinsed and packed.

7

Flakes turned into fibre

The green flakes are then transported to an extruder. After arrival, the flakes go through a hot washing process to ensure all excess contaminants are removed. After a washing process, the flakes go into a dryer to remove any moisture, after which the plastic is extruded. Plastic extrusion is the manufacturing process in which raw plastic is melted and formed into a raw material to be used in new applications. After extrusion, it enters into cold water to solidify the molten plastic, after which the plastic is cut up into small pellets. These pellets are then used as the raw material for the fibre spinning plant. After the fibre has been produced, it is baled and transported to the next facility for further processing.

8

Fibre used to manufacture polyester fabric

Once the fibre has been produced, it needs to be processed into a textile that can be used in its final application. The fibre arrives in bales and then gets fluffed up and weighed by a series of senstive electronic machines. The next step is to web the ‘fluffed’ fibre into several layers, all a specific thickness and weight. The multi-layered fibres then go through a stitching machine to create the cloth that is used to create the bags.

9

Polyester used to make Pick n Pay’s People n Planet budget green reusable bag

The rPET Polyester fabric arrives at the bag manufacturing plant and is first printed using a water-based print method, after which the fabric is cut, made and trimmed into a recycled green budget bag.

 
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REDUCING FOOD WASTE

Food waste is one of the most vital social, economic and environmental issues facing our planet. This is a key focus area for Pick n Pay. In 2015, we set goals to deliver significant shifts in waste reduction by 2020, including diverting 20% of our food waste from going to landfill. Any food that has passed its sell-by date, but not its expiry date, is donated. We work closely with Food Forward SA, and every year we donate more 1 600 tonnes of excess food to charity.

 
“DURING 2018 WE DIVERTED 10% OF OUR FOOD WASTE FROM LANDFILL. tHROUGH OUR PARTNERSHIP INITIATIVES, WE AIM TO INCREASE THIS LEVEL TO 20% BY 2020.
Roan Snyman, Pick n Pay Group Sustainability Manager
IMPROVING ENERGY 
 EFFICIENCY AND REDUCING 
 CARBON EMISSIONS

COMMITTING TO A LOW CARBON FUTURE

Pick n Pay has made the commitment to reduce our energy intensity by 50% by 2020. By working closely with Energy Partners and focussing our efforts on energy efficiency we have already managed to achieve 37% reduction. The next phase in our energy journey will be to maximize the amount of renewable energy that we produce and use. We have already completed solar installations at two distribution centres and three stores.

“Pick n Pay received a “B” rating in the 2017 CDP climate change programme, recognising our efforts to reduce our carbon emissions and thereby mitigating the impact we have on climate change.”
Andre Nel, Head of Sustainability Department

reducing packaging impacts

including as much recycled material as possible, without
affecting the integrity of the packaging.

ALTERNATIVES TO PLASTIC CARRIER BAGS

In 2003, Pick n Pay was the first retailer in South Africa to introduce a reusable bag as a substitute for plastic bags. Since then, we have introduced a range of alternatives that include cotton and RPET bags. We sold 1.7 million bags in the past year, which is a 20% year on year increase compared to last year.