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The Warehouse Group switches to compostable bags

  • News
  • May 21, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
The Warehouse Group switches to compostable bags

The Warehouse Group is transitioning into offering fully compostable bags across the entire company. This means 254 stores from the red sheds; Warehouse Stationery; Noel Leeming and Torpedo7 will no longer offer petroleum-based plastic bags.

Biodegradable plastic bags are often regarded by retailers as a more expensive option than fossil-based plastic bags, but The Warehouse has been charging its customers 10 cents per bag since 2009. To accommodate the switch, it has simply upped the price to 16 cents to reflect the greater investment per bag, says The Warehouse Group’s David Benattar.

“Charging does change behaviour,” says Benattar. He cites a 70 percent reduction in bag use from when the per-bag charge initiative was introduced.

The Warehouse Stationery and Torpedo7 will start to introduce bag charges when the switch takes effect towards the end of 2018, while Noel Leeming will offer a compostable bag at no cost. Research produced by The Warehouse Group indicates 69 percent of customers preferred to have a bag available, with compostable bags being the most popular option.

“We’ve worked really hard to find a solution that reduces the impact of plastic bags on the environment, while continuing to support the community, and being able to offer customers the option of a bag,” says The Warehouse Group chief executive Nick Grayston.

Benattar says the switch will involve assessing the current stock of bags; phasing them out; and the production of new biodegradable bags, which he says is quite time-consuming. The Warehouse Group looked into local suppliers, but was unable to find one equipped to produce bags at the volume the group required, so selected a Chinese supplier with rigorous environmental standards.

The Warehouse Group handed out an average of 21 billion plastic bags in 2017, Benattar says. He has confirmed that the bags are compostable at home in a standard compost bin, and will degrade into nothing within around three months. If they’re sent to landfill or miss the bin entirely, they will still decompose 10 times faster than fossil-based plastic bags.

All net proceeds from the per-bag charges are given back to the community, with the initiative having generated nearly $4 million so far.

“The way we look at it, it’s a win, win, win,” says Benattar. He says the benefits extend to the environment; the community and customers, who will enjoy an improved customer experience through the new initiative.

“Consumers are becoming more aware, and more demanding – they tell us what they want.”

Benattar says it’s the business community’s responsibility, as those in control of an enormous footprints which have significant social, environmental and financial impacts, to actively consider ways to become better organisations. It’s important retailers lead and innovate in these areas, he says: “I invite all colleagues to jump on board.

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H&M's 2019 designer collab will be with Giambattista Valli

  • News
  • May 24, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
H&M's 2019 designer collab will be with Giambattista Valli

H&M's designer collaborations are met with global consumer excitement. Last year, Moschino was the chosen brand, and for 2019, it's Paris-based Giambattista Valli.

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Karen Walker brings back its preloved Dove Hospice pop-up

  • News
  • May 24, 2019
  • The Register team
Karen Walker brings back its preloved Dove Hospice pop-up

After a successful debut last year, Karen Walker is bringing back its Dove Hospice pop-up at the Newmarket 'Playpark' store. It will once again sell vintage hand-knitted items to fundraise for the hospice charity.

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Countdown's Own wins April's Ad Impact award

  • News
  • May 23, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Countdown's Own wins April's Ad Impact award

With an April full of public holidays and potential long weekends, the month was a big and busy month for advertising. But Countdown's own-brand campaign surpassed the competition to be named the Colmar Brunton Ad Impact Award winner for April.

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Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
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Kiwi fashion label Maggie Marilyn launches new website

  • News
  • May 23, 2019
  • The Register team
Kiwi fashion label Maggie Marilyn launches new website

The new website launched by New Zealand fashion label Maggie Marilyn prioritises transparency and sustainability.

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Sharesies CEO Brooke Roberts talks what it takes to become a B Corp certified company

  • News
  • May 23, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Sharesies CEO Brooke Roberts talks what it takes to become a B Corp certified company

There’s a movement afoot globally to create more companies that balance purpose with profit and view business as a force for good. Called Certified B Corporations, companies that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability can become certified. As of April, Sharesies investment platform was the first financial company nationally to qualify for the B Corp certification, joining just 22 other New Zealand B Corp certified businesses. CEO Brooke Roberts talks us through the process, and the benefits for businesses in becoming certified.

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The benefits of rewarding non-transactional activities

  • Opinion
  • May 23, 2019
  • Ros Netto
The benefits of rewarding non-transactional activities

Product and price is all very well, but retailers are increasingly seeking to avoid discounting by incentivising non-transactional behaviours instead. Ros Netto, consultant at Truth Customer Academy, shares some advice.

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