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Supermarket chain will now let customers bring own containers for over-the-counter foods

Customers across the North Island will soon be allowed to use their own containers for over-the-counter butchery, seafood, delicatessen and bakery items at their local Foodstuff owned supermarket in an effort to eliminate waste.

The service will be made available for New World, Pak’nSave and Four Square stores.

Foodstuffs North Island group manager regulatory services Mark Casey said in a statement: "We've run successful trials at a number of our stores where we worked out what we had to do for customers to bring their own containers. It's not as simple as it looks.

"We take our responsibilities as a retailer of food very seriously – food safety is a top priority, so making sure our customers' groceries aren't compromised through poor hygiene is very important."

Mid adult Hispanic man is working behindButcher or deli employee is giving package to mid adult Caucasian female customer. Woman is smiling while shopping for healthy food.
Deli counter in local supermarket or grocery store. Source: istock.com

The service, which will allow customers to use their own clean, leak-proof containers, will only be available for counter departments in order for staff to inspect the cleanliness of the containers, as well as to subtract the weight of the container from the product being purchased, Mr Casey said.

"Many people don’t realise that products must be sold minus the cost packaging might add to a product. That's why we restrict BYO to counters where we can subtract the weight of the container and produce a price label for the cost of the product only," he said.

"This means that for now products from bulk bins aren't included.

"We have to make quite significant changes to the way we operate to take the BYO option storewide, but this new policy in our counter areas is a major step towards zero waste."

The new service is set to go live in Auckland's New World Long Bay on May 28, before rolling out to other North Island Foodstuff stores from June 1.

The announcement was made exclusively on this evening's TVNZ1's Seven Sharp.

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Previously it wasn’t allowed due to health and safety reasons. Source: Seven Sharp