Person carrying plastic bags
The new, stronger bags. (Shoprite)
  • The Shoprite Group has launched new stronger bags.
  • The bags will cost R3 each, but you will get 50c off your shopping every time you re-use the bags.
  • The new bags are made from 100% recycled and recyclable plastic.

Shoprite and Checkers have launched new stronger plastic bags, which will cost R3 each.

But every time you re-use the bag, you’ll get 50c off your shopping.

The new bags are made from 100% recycled and recyclable plastic. It is 70 microns thick (compared to the 24 microns for standard 24l plastic bags). Shoprite and Checkers believe it will last for many shopping trips.

According to Shoprite, only 5% of people re-use their shopping bags worldwide and 2 million bags are thrown away every minute.

The company said it is hoping to change consumer behaviour by rewarding customers for re-using bags.

Woolworths is also introducing re-usable plastic bags from November as part of its plan to completely phase out single-use shopping bags by 2020.

And earlier this year, Pick n Pay announced that it will introduced South Africa’s first compostable supermarket bags.

The bags are made of vegetable matter, such as maize and potato starch, and will break down after three to six months depending on conditions.

Groceries in a plastic bag
The Pick n Pay compostable bag.

All Shoprite and Checkers packaging of broccoli, cauliflower, mixed cauliflower and broccoli, baby marrows, patty pans, baby gems, squash variety and fruit packs will also switch to fully biodegradable and compostable containers from early November.

Their “ripe and ready” avocado punnets are already compostable.

Last year, the Shoprite Group sold 700 million plastic bags. The company was the first to introduce recycled and recyclable plastic shopping bags in South Africa.