Plastic pollution — the accumulation of plastic objects and particles in the Earth’s environment — is a global problem that is devastating marine life and other ecosystems.

Humans are using more plastic than ever before and a depressing amount tends to end up in our oceans, on our beaches and even inside our bodies.

The reasons for this are the same ones that have made plastic so popular in the first place: It’s durable and extremely difficult to break down.

In a bid to save the turtles, loads of people have already started to reduce their plastic consumption and businesses are starting to follow suit.

You’ve probably noticed that your favourite cafe uses paper straws in their drinks, while the supermarket you shop at is promoting their durable, plastic-free shopping bags.

Nude Food

In most instances, environmentally and organic products cost more money and are marketed to a wealthier demographic.

Pick n Pay is trying to change that. By removing the unnecessary plastic packaging (including stickers on fruit), Pick n Pay are able to save packaging costs, and they’re passing on those savings to the consumer.

Last month, the retail giant announced that it would be including 12 seasonal fruit and vegetables to its loose produce selection, allowing customers to save money and the planet at the same time.

Business Insider compared some of the prices of Pick n Pay’s unpackaged produce to their packaged produce and the findings were surprising.

Item   Packaged  Loose  Saving
Green and red chillies (1 kg)   R199.80   R44.99   R154.81
Green beans (350 g)   R65.69   R44.99   R20.70
Brown and Portabellini mushrooms (1 kg)   R119.96   R89.99   R29.97
Palermo peppers (1 kg)   R97.03   R59.99   R37.04


Pick n Pay’s new plastic and packaging-free produce walls are currently on trial at the following stores: Claremont, Gardens, Faerie Glen Hyper, Bedfordview, Benmore, Waterfront, Kenilworth, Pinelands Hyper, Durban North, Longbeach Mall, Glen Garry, Nicol and Constantia.

This growing trend of unpackaged food is the entire business model of Nude Food, a Cape Town-based grocery store.

Alternate options include The Refillery, the plastic-free planet-friendly grocery store, or Shop Zero, the zero waste, plastic-free lifestyle store.

Roland Kesler

Written by .

Roland has joined the 22seven team as a content creator. A financial analysis graduate from the University of Cape Town, Roland is a keen writer who enjoys using data to tell interesting stories. In his spare time, he can usually be found watching football (or writing about it), listening to music and discovering new podcasts.
Email |