Ecostore refills at supermarkets a hit with shoppers
Auckland, New Zealand, 12 November 2020
Ecostore and New World have continued their partnership to offer more sustainable options to shoppers by expanding their refill offering to eight additional stores in the South Island – and the first ecostore refill station in a supermarket in the North Island, at New World New Lynn, Auckland.
The eight ecostore refill stations in New World stores in the South Island include Blenheim, Wakatipu, Timaru, and Christchurch’s Wigram, Halswell, IIam, Preston and Ferry Road.
This expansion follows the overwhelming feedback by customers embracing the existing ecostore refill stations at New World stores in Wanaka and Christchurch’s St Martins, Northwood and Fendalton and Durham Street. This was the first partnership of its kind in New Zealand between ecostore and a supermarket chain.
Ecostore CEO Pablo Kraus says ecostore is committed to implementing more refill stations at supermarkets to minimise packaging waste via bulk formats and refill solutions.
“We’ve led the refill model in New Zealand, invested heavily in the growth of our refill stations, making them more accessible to customers across the country, and now have over 70 throughout New Zealand."
“This is one way that we help Kiwis reduce the amount of plastic packaging they consume. We’re also stepping up and taking responsibility for our plastic waste through our new plastic return programme."
Last month, the sustainability leader announced their Plastic Return Programme encouraging their customers to use their products and then return the bottles to one of their 100 collection points in specialty stores and schools nationwide. The company will collect, process, and remake their bottles right here in Aotearoa, effectively using their plastic bottles over and over again, in New Zealand’s first comprehensive closed loop system for home, body, and baby products.
Locally, the average New Zealand household uses 941 plastic containers or bottles a year, amounting to a staggering 1.76 billion plastic containers disposed of around the country annually. Right now, 39% of recyclable plastic across the board in New Zealand goes directly to landfill and much of the 61% that goes into the recycling system is sent overseas.
The build-up of plastic in the environment is the number two issue for New Zealanders - and that is of all social, economic, and environmental issues. Consumers want to see action and they want to do their bit to help bring about change. And 7 out of every 10 New Zealanders will also tell you that businesses should be responsible for addressing the environmental problems we face.
Ecostore sustainability projects director Jemma Whiten says ecostore has the ability, capability, and desire to lead that change.
“The plastic problem is such a big one – and when you have such a big problem, there is no magic bullet. So that’s why it’s important to do a multitude of solutions to address the problem."
“We are addressing the source problem through renewable sugar & recycled plastic, and the waste problem through refill stations and the plastic return programme. The potential to take millions of bottles out of the system in the near-term alone, is extremely exciting.”
Ecostore has over 70 refill stations nationwide at locations including supermarkets, retailers like Good For, Bin Inn and Huckleberry, and other organic stores, environment centres, as well as offering refills for more than 10 years at their flagship store in Freemans Bay.
In the same way shoppers buy nuts and seeds from the supermarket bulk bins, customers simply get their ecostore refill bottle made of a blend of recycled material and sugar plastic derived from sustainably grown sugar cane - tap or pump the selected product whether it’s the shampoo, conditioner, hand and body wash, laundry or the dish-washing liquid into their bottle, filling to the top, write the product code and name on a label on the bottle and proceed to the checkout to pay.