29/09/2021 | David Speirs MP | Better Services

South Australian Independent Retailers (SAIR) have committed to becoming part of a more circular economy for South Australia, launching the first strategy of its kind, the Food Waste and Recycling Strategy for Foodland and IGA Supermarkets 2021-2025.

Thanks to support from the Marshall Liberal Government, stores operating under the Foodland, IGA and Friendly Grocer Supermarkets brands are on the path to becoming more circular, committing to more than 20 waste initiatives in areas like food recovery, reducing packaging and plastics, educating customers and training staff in best practice waste avoidance.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the launch of this strategy at Klose’s Foodland in Woodside will support the owners and managers of South Australia’s independently owned supermarkets to immediately activate new practices and systems to reduce the amount of waste generated at their stores, improve resource recovery especially targeting food waste.

“Klose’s Foodland are already ahead of the game and in a South Australian first have eliminated plastic bags from their stores, using paper bags at the front of the store and certified compostable, South Australian made, bags for fruit and vegetables,” Minister Speirs said.

“This is another example of a South Australian business leading the nation when it comes to waste management and eliminating single-use plastics and this new strategy will help others follow suit.

“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to unlocking the potential of a circular economy in South Australia and this strategy builds on the work we have already done including being the first state in the country to ban single-use plastics.

“Independent retailers in South Australia are a key driver for our state economy and that economic impact can continue to grow as independent retailers adopt a more circular economy.

“Food waste remains one of our most pressing challenges, and we must commit to diverting our food waste away from landfill and into our compost industry, which is not only good for the environment, but it creates jobs as well.

“Last year I launched our Statewide Waste Strategy and this year I launched the first targeted food waste strategy in Australia to work towards zero avoidable food waste going to landfill.”

SAIR Chief Executive Officer Colin Shearing said there are more than 200 independently owned supermarket stores across South Australia employing more than 15,000 workers which contribute more than $2 billion to the state economy.

“Our customers expect sustainability and responsibility to be built into our business model. This Strategy is a blueprint for a more circular economy,” Mr Shearing said.

“Foodland metropolitan stores have committed to 10 waste initiatives from the new strategy by 2025, with regional stores committed to at least seven waste initiatives by 2025.”

Klose’s Foodland Supermarkets Director Nick Klose said they were proud to support such an important initiative.

“We are proud to be one of the first supermarkets across the country and the first in South Australia to take these steps to reduce our use of single-use plastics,” Mr Klose said.

“More and more we hear from our customers about how much they value sustainability and by making changes such as removing plastic bags from our stores we are doing our part.

“We are happy to commit to the Food Waste and Recycling Strategy for Foodland and IGA Supermarkets 2021-2025 and look forward to working with other retailers to deliver better outcomes for the environment and the economy.”