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Foodstuffs bans plastic microbeads ahead of schedule

  • News
  • June 9, 2017
  • Sarah Dunn
Foodstuffs bans plastic microbeads ahead of schedule

The company behind New World, Pak’n Save and Four Square has banned plastic microbeads in its stores a year ahead of the Government’s proposed schedule. All Foodstuffs supermarkets will be microbead-free from 1 July 2017.

Microbeads are plastic beads measuring less than 5mm in diameter. They’re manufactured for use in products like facial scrubs and toothpastes, giving them texture, acting as an abrasive or providing visual interest.

They’ve recently been proven to be environmentally harmful as once they’re washed down the drain, they enter waterways and, instead of breaking down, they accumulate in the environment. Microbeads are harmful to aquatic animals which can mistake them for food and consume them.

If a proposed ban on the sale and manufacture of personal care products containing plastic microbeads, retailers are likely to be required to cease selling them by July 2018. The Ministry for the Environment sought views on the proposed ban earlier this year, and closed consultation on February 28. The submissions are now being considered and a report is expected.

Foodstuffs North Island chief executive Chris Quin says the business began discussions with suppliers in 2016 with the aim of speeding up the phasing out of microbead products.

"We're pleased to say that many suppliers had already reformulated their products substituting the plastic beads with natural ingredients. Where brands are unable to meet our needs we'll delist the products until new formulations are available,” he says.

Quin says minimising Foodstuffs’ impact on the environment is a priority issue, and banning microbeads is “absolutely the right thing to do”.

“The changes we're making will have a positive impact on marine life - it's great we were able to announce this change on World Oceans Day. That said we know there's more work to be done and we will continue to see how we can reduce plastics wherever we can.”

Other sustainability-focused initiatives Foodstuffs has recently introduced include recyclable meat trays; LED lighting; and new refrigeration and energy systems. It’s also a hub for soft plastics recycling, collecting more than five tons of packaging per week.

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Picking up the scraps: The companies leading waste minimisation

  • Design
  • January 23, 2020
  • Findlay Buchanan
Picking up the scraps: The companies leading waste minimisation

In New Zealand, we discard 15.5 million tonnes of waste each year, an absurd amount for a small, agrarian, country at the bottom of the earth. Partly, the problem lies in our recycling systems – only a meager 28 percent of it is recycled. But, new radical solutions are being developed, we’ve already transformed water bottles into asphalt, plastic bags into clothes, and roofing into pavements. Plus, a company in the states, Joachim’s firm, plans to build a 53-story tower made with the waste, a vision for tall buildings and skyscrapers that could be made of plastic.

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2020 vision: What 2020 means for Dargaville retailers

  • News
  • January 22, 2020
  • Rachel Helyer Donaldson
2020 vision: What 2020 means for Dargaville retailers

In the final installation of our series looking at retail in seven New Zealand regions, we're examining Dargaville.

Read more
 
 

Container Door fined $54,000 over non-compliant bicycles

  • News
  • January 21, 2020
  • The Register team
Container Door fined $54,000 over non-compliant bicycles

Ecommerce retailer Container Door has fallen afoul of the Commerce Commission after supplying pedal bicycles which did not meet mandatory product safety standards.

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2020 vision: How Cambridge retail will perform this year

  • News
  • January 21, 2020
  • Rachel Helyer Donaldson
2020 vision: How Cambridge retail will perform this year

As part of a series looking at seven regional centres to consider what regional retail looks like this year, we're considering Cambridge.

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Steve Mills becomes Countdown's new GM of Merchandise

  • Who's Where
  • January 21, 2020
  • Makayla Wallace-Tidd
Steve Mills becomes Countdown's new GM of Merchandise

Countdown has announced Steve Mills as the new general manager of merchandise.

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Larger retailers to discuss key issues in Retail NZ’s new group

  • News
  • January 20, 2020
  • The Register team
Larger retailers to discuss key issues in Retail NZ’s new group

Retail NZ is launching a new Leading Retailers’ Group for large and significant retailers. With its first meeting to be held in late February, the group will provide a safe outlet for senior retailers to discuss issues affecting the sector.

Read more
 
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