The country’s major supermarket chains are looking at how they can package produce in more environmentally friendly ways.

Progressive’s general manager strategy and corporate affairs Richard Manaton said some of Countdown’s customers preferred the convenience of buying packaged produce.

Countdown was the subject of a petition set up on on change.org that has been signed nearly 10,000 times since going live 2 months ago.

“Wrapping individual pieces of produce is not standard practice. We use plastic wrap primarily as a way to keep produce fresh and hygienic when it has been cut,” Mr Manaton said.

“Products that are packaged are primarily put in bags and occasionally put on trays, which are often not styrofoam and are recyclable. An example of where this sort of packaging is required is our organic produce, which needs to be kept separate from conventional produce throughout the supply chain, so that our customers receive the organic products they seek.

We spotted this packaged produce in a Wellington New World supermarket.
We spotted this packaged produce in a Wellington New World supermarket.

“We're currently reviewing our use of plastic and styrofoam in our stores. We've been looking at more sustainable and recyclable options, as well as what packaging we can eliminate completely from our produce range.”

We weren’t able to find any produce packaged on trays at our local Countdown, but we did find some at a Wellington New World.

Foodstuffs sustainability manager Mike Sammons said New World and Pak’nSave supermarkets had been encouraged to use alternatives to polystyrene trays in all departments outside of butchery since 2013.

Foodstuffs will trial a new meat tray later this year that can be put out of with kerbside recycling.

What do you think? Do you buy pre-packaged produce? Let us know on our Facebook page.