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Now you know where that 50 cents for a shopping bag go

Now you know where that 50 cents for a shopping bag go

Grocery retailers’ decision earlier this year to charge for shopping bags has delivered its first dividends. Earlier this week, Pick n Pay presented the profits from selling shopping bags to the Recycle Namibia Forum.

Every shopping bag costs the retailer 43 cents. By charging 50c per bag, Pick n Pay realises a small 7c profit. The combined profit for June and July came to a staggering N$195,000 all of which went to the forum. This indicates that Pick n Pay needs about 1.5 million shopping bags per month, even after the use of plastic shopping bags dropped dramatically since the charge was instituted.

Presenting the funds to the forum, Pick n Pay’s Marketing Manager, Victoria Moller said that their decision to charge for shopping bags is part of their ‘Plastic or Planet’ campaign introduced at the beginning of June.

“It is unfortunate how plastic has grown to become such a negative topic to the environment, and while it is not the plastic as such that is the problem but rather the behaviour of human beings with the use and treatment of plastic that has led to the unfortunate impact it has on the planet today, it is important for Pick n Pay Namibia as a caring Namibian entity, to play our part in sustaining our environment,” she said.

Researcher and guest speaker, Dr Selma Lendelvo, said “As an environmentalist, I applaud organisations which pro-actively are looking for ways to reduce the impact of plastic toxic on the environment – especially when it comes to post-consumer waste, something which most industries tend to want to forget about. Though the idea of selling bags is not something that is new to the world, it is something that is new to Namibia, and it is my hope that we as a country will learn from those who walked this road before us.”

Dr Lendelvo is the Head of the Life Science Department at the University of Namibia.

The recycle forum’s coordinator, Anita Witt indicated that the funds will be used to support activities that promote environmental awareness and sustainability at school level.

Caption: From the left, Dr. Selma Lendelvo of UNAM; Anita Witt of the Recycle Namibia Forum, Frederick Sikabango, the Environmental Commissioner in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Victoria Moller of Pick n Pay and Gloudi de Beer, the forum’s chairperson.


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