This month the Checkers chain of supermarkets will make a positive impact on the environment by becoming the first national retailer to offer a plastic shopping bag made completely of recycled plastic.
At least 6 000 tons of waste is produced in Cape Town alone per day and each person produces between 1.7kgs and 2kgs of waste each day. That means that an average adult produces their weight in waste at least every six weeks. This waste comes from tin cans, plastic bottles and containers, glass bottles and jars, cardboard and paper and e-waste (electrical and electronic equipment).
Checkers aims to help counteract the mounting effect of waste generation by introducing a 100% recycled plastic shopping bag. The production of these bags will see an additional 2 100 tons of plastic waste diverted from landfill sites each year – that’s equal to the weight of 525 elephants or 2 100 cars and equates to a saving of 11 970 m³ of landfill space. This also equates to a further saving of 726 600 kgs of CO2 in one year, the equivalent of 660 flights from Cape to London.
The Checkers plastic shopping bag, a first for a South African supermarket, will cost the same as all other Shoprite and Checkers plastic bags, is manufactured in South Africa from 100% recyclable materials, is as strong as the current government standard shopping bag and can be re-used multiple times. Aside from reducing the amount of plastic waste in our environment, these SABS approved bags are free from all heavy metals, toxic colorants, chemicals and bleach.
The 100% recycled Checkers bags are manufactured from waste that is sorted by colour, resulting in South Africa’s favourite retailer’s very own, all-natural shade of Checkers "Green".
Checkers will be phasing in the 100% recycled plastic bags into its Western Cape stores from 22 May, with the full national roll-out completed by December 2013 as production capacity grows.
How Checkers “100% Recycled Plastic Content“ Shopping Bags will positively impact the environment:
The waste material collected to make the new Checkers 100% Recycled Plastic content shopping bag, has been diverted from the landfills and has been converted into an affordable, environmentally responsible recycled bag solution.
Phase 1 Western Cape (May, June, July, August):
• 32 tons / month = 179.2 m³ saved landfill space
• 48 tons of CO22 saved
• 360 tons/year = 2 016 m³ saved landfill space
• 540 tons of CO2 saved
Phase 2 Coastal and Natal (September, October, November):
• 75 tons/month = 420 m³ saved landfill space
• 112,5 tons of CO2 saved
• 836 tons/year = 4 681 m³ saved landfill space
• 1 254 tons of CO2 saved
Phase 3: National (December, January):
• 186 tons/month = 1 041 m³ saved landfill space
• 279 tons of CO2 saved
• 2 100 tons/year = 11 760 m³ saved landfill space
• 3 150 tons of CO2 saved
Update: 1 October 2013
Checkers won a Gold Award for the Checkers carrier bag in the Best Recycled Product Competition of the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (Sapro).
Read more about the award HERE.