The 'Final Countdown' to naked fruits and vegetables

updated By Mare Haimona-Riki

From February 10th, three Countdown stores in Auckland will be going ‘unwrapped’. This means that 65 fruit and vegetable products that typically come in plastic-wrapped, will be either ‘nude’ or in paper packaging - from the potatoes to strawberries.  

General Manager for sustainability, Kiri Hannifin has high hopes for the project as the company projects to save 1,000 kg of plastic in the 10 weeks the trial will take place. 

"After we took the bags out of checkouts a couple of years ago, we wanted to look at produce.

“It’s taken us quite a few months on how to do it and we want to test it which is what we are doing with these three stores." 

The trial will take place at Countdown Ponsonby, Orewa and Manukau and will cost $500,000 to fund.

"Not everything will be without plastic," Hannifin says.

Due to shelf life and safety, premade salads and coleslaws will still be packaged in their plastic bags during the trial at the unwrapped stores.

Jacqui Forbes, general manager of "Para Kore," encourages all to avoid using plastic bags or anything that causes harm to Papatūānuku.

“We really support the work that Kiri and the Countdown team is doing, getting rid of plastic bags and packaging.

"We really encourage everyone to minimize any amount of plastic they use, by not purchasing items that come in plastic packaging."

The trial will run at the aforementioned stores, starting on February 10th.