SOUTH AFRICA – Shoprite Group’s Checkers Supermarket, is rolling out new shopping trolley baskets made from 100% recycled plastic – mostly old milk bottles – thereby diverting more than 40 tons of recyclable material from landfill.

The retailer’s trolleys have contained at least 35% recycled content since 2018. Now it is the first major South African retailer to have trolley baskets made from 100% recyclable material.

The new trolley baskets come in classic and mini sizes, each made from 180 and 110 old milk bottles respectively.

“We’ve set ambitious targets to reduce our environmental impact and will continue to step up our efforts to reach these as part of our wider sustainability strategy.

“This change is just one of several initiatives we have introduced across our operations,” said Sanjeev Raghubir, Shoprite Group Sustainability Manager.

This move is part of Checkers’ ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability and promoting a circular economy.

Further to that, the retail group’s near-term science-based greenhouse-gas (GHG) emission reduction targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

In its Target Validation Report, the SBTi stated it commends the Group’s “ambitious 1.5°C-aligned target, currently the most ambitious designation available through the SBTi process”.

The SBTi mobilises companies to set science-based targets. It is a partnership between CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The Group has committed to reducing its absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 42% by 2030 (using 2020 as the baseline).

It has also committed to reducing absolute scope 3 GHG emissions from the use of products it sells by 25% during the same timeframe.

The retailer has also set a long-term GHG emissions reductions target in line with reaching net zero by 2050 to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Meanwhile, the giant retailer, has reported an 18.36% growth in first-quarter sales, with its core Supermarkets South Africa segment, represented by budget chains Shoprite and Usave, and upmarket chains Checkers, Checkers Hyper and LiquorShop, growing sales by 19.9% in the first quarter ended September, lifted by rising customer numbers, volume growth and higher average basket spend.

Shoprite’s ten-country African supermarket division increased sales by 18.8% in rand terms.

Its other operating segments, made up of OK Franchise, Transpharm and Medirite Pharmacies, as well as Checkers Food Services, reported a 10.8% increase in sales.

Looking forward, the group said it was well-positioned to meet its customer’s needs over the festive season.

“From an inventory position, we are well stocked and [we] believe adequately positioned to fulfil our new store obligations and ensure product availability in the event of any global or local supply chain constraints.

“As a result, we are pleased to report the recent Transnet strike impacting South Africa’s ports for 11 days did not unduly affect our operations,” Shoprite said.

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