Media Releases

by Media Release

last updated 08/06/2017


Foodstuffs announces ban on plastic microbeads

by Media Release

last updated 08/06/2017


7 June 2017 – Foodstuffs has announced that New World, Pak’nSave and Four Square supermarkets will be microbead-free nationwide from 1 July 2017.

Scientific research has proven that the tiny beads of plastic, used as an exfoliating agent in many skin cleansing products, are finding their way into drains and ultimately the marine environment where they fail to break down or are consumed by marine life.

The announcement from Foodstuffs means the multi-brand franchise will be compliant a full year ahead of the Government’s proposal for banning microbeads from New Zealand stores.

Chris Quin, Foodstuffs North Island CEO, says the business started discussions with suppliers in 2016 with the aim of speeding up the change. ‘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.’

‘Minimising our 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.

‘Across Foodstuffs North Island and Foodstuffs South Island we have almost 30,000 team members committed to reducing waste and our environmental impact. Hundreds of thousands of our customers are also doing their best to make the right choices – using their own bags, choosing sustainable products and shopping thoughtfully on a daily basis. Our suppliers are also a big part of the solution – and it speaks volumes that they have worked with us to provide customers with more sustainable products.’

Foodstuffs has introduced other environmental initiatives including 100% recyclable meat trays, LED lighting, and new refrigeration and energy systems. Foodstuffs is also a foundation partner of the Packaging Forum’s Soft Plastics Recycling Programme, collecting over five tonnes a week of packaging in purpose-designed bins located at the front of stores. The material is then reprocessed into new products such as street furniture and decking.

The microbead ban will be celebrated in New World stores across the country in July with some exciting promotions to help customers to change up their beauty routine.

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