Butcher takes on the plastic-free challenge

Fletcher Pickett at The Village Butchery gives customers option of plastic bags or paper to wrap their meat.

Fletcher Pickett at The Village Butchery gives customers option of plastic bags or paper to wrap their meat.

ECO BUTCHER: The Village Butchery owner Fletcher Pickett says after giving people the option to wrap their meat in paper packaging they are saving three to four thousand plastic bags a week. The initiative, trialled during Plastic Free July, has been so popular he is going to carry on indefinitely. Picture by Liam Clayton

A POPULAR Gisborne butcher is saving thousands of plastic bags a week from going to waste.

As part of Plastic Free July, Fletcher Pickett, owner of The Village Butchery, decided to give customers the option of either using plastic bags, which they had previously used, or paper, to wrap their meat.

He says it has been “hugely successful” and believes 60 to 70 percent of customers are now choosing paper over plastic, and so he has decided to keep it going.

With the shop receiving more than 1000 customers a week, who each get three to four items wrapped, they are saving several thousand bags a week.

There has not been any negative feedback, but older people generally are more keen for plastic.

“As the younger generations come through paper will become more popular. The paper packaging is just as good and safe, you can still freeze it, it just takes a change in mindset.”

Now he is in talks with one of his suppliers to cut back on the plastic packaging used in the meat delivered to the store.

“The paper wrapping is more labour intensive and more expensive, but it is all worth it, giving people the option.”

A POPULAR Gisborne butcher is saving thousands of plastic bags a week from going to waste.

As part of Plastic Free July, Fletcher Pickett, owner of The Village Butchery, decided to give customers the option of either using plastic bags, which they had previously used, or paper, to wrap their meat.

He says it has been “hugely successful” and believes 60 to 70 percent of customers are now choosing paper over plastic, and so he has decided to keep it going.

With the shop receiving more than 1000 customers a week, who each get three to four items wrapped, they are saving several thousand bags a week.

There has not been any negative feedback, but older people generally are more keen for plastic.

“As the younger generations come through paper will become more popular. The paper packaging is just as good and safe, you can still freeze it, it just takes a change in mindset.”

Now he is in talks with one of his suppliers to cut back on the plastic packaging used in the meat delivered to the store.

“The paper wrapping is more labour intensive and more expensive, but it is all worth it, giving people the option.”

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Kathryn - 2 years ago
I don't understand people's mind sets. Yes plastic takes forever to breakdown, so it's good to stop using plastic. But we are cutting down more trees to be able to use paper. There is no winning unless these companies find another alternative like hemp or mushroom leather. Think bigger.

Te Ata - 2 years ago
Trees are a renewable source, unlike oil which plastic is sourced from. Paper is also gentler on the earth and seas, so it seems much more logical to move towards a more enviro-friendly approach with the hope in future of moving towards zero waste - which I'm sure this business is striving towards. What a great example for other butchers and other food outlets nationwide :)

Corinne, Tasmania - 2 years ago
But they can be made out of recycled paper Kathryn, and that is still better than plastics that are used once and thrown in the bin - and then end up in our oceans in tiny particles. Far more damaging to the earth. If you really want to make changes, take your own containers to the butcher and get them to put your meat directly into them.

Ros, Lankashire - 2 months ago
I searched the internet to see if there were any butchers not using plastic after watching Parliament on television last night and an MP talking extremely well about the need to stop MAKING and using plastic as much as possible and at the very least following through its use and recycling responsibly as a country.
I like Corinne's post that suggests we should go back to taking our own trays, containers (perhaps metal, cooking tins) to the butchers and asking for the meat to be placed directly in to them. We could even take our own paper instead, or as well. This is what people used to do, why not do it again?

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