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Bring Your Own Containers

May 13, 2019 by: Foodstuffs



BYO square, round, rectangular containers – we don’t mind as long they are leakproof and clean! From 1st June you can now use BYO containers at Four Square North Island stores at our butchery, seafood, bakery and delicatessen counters where available. It’s just one of the many things we’re doing to reduce waste and look after New Zealand.


BYO – how it will work

  1. Check your containers are leak-proof then clean and dry them before you head into your local Four Square. At this time the service is available only in North Island stores.
  2. Hand your containers to our friendly staff at the counter who will weigh the container before adding your chosen steak, ham, fresh pastries or mussels.
  3. They’ll label and seal your containers with a barcode for scanning at the checkout.

Note: we take our food safety responsibilities very seriously, so containers for deli products will be given an extra clean at the counter. Why? Because the product is more sensitive and likely to be consumed without being cooked. Baked goods aren’t affected in the same way.

Our Group Manager Regulatory Services Mark Casey says, “We’ve run successful trials to work out the best way to help our customers 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.”

The service is only available at counter departments in store at this point. This is for two key reasons; a. it means the store can give containers the onceover and make sure they are fit for purpose and clean, and b. that the weight of the container is subtracted from the weight of the product being purchased.

“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 that accounts for the cost of the product only,” says Casey. This means that for now products from bulk bins are not included.

Encouraging customers to reuse containers is just one of the many initiatives Four Square has underway to make a difference. We’ve given away millions of reusable shopping bags, we encourage customers to bring reusable produce bags, we’re trialing home compostable produce bags and now we’re inviting people to bring their own containers. It all adds up to reducing waste in the environment.

So, wash and dry your containers and bring them in to any Four Square store in the North Island and give it a go from 1 June.