MA Togo and Jimmy Heal show off the new and old containers in their heating cupboard, with plastic set to be phased out by the end of the year. Photo supplied

OPOTIKI New World is moving to do away with all plastics in the deli by the end of the year.

The rollout of cardboard containers in the deli section began last month, spearheaded by deli manager Ma Togo.

“It’s more eco-friendly,” she said.

Ms Togo said the rollout included packaging of pre-cooked items in the heating cupboard as well as regular deli items such as pastas and salads.

Ms Togo said the last of the plastic containers were steadily being phased out, and the store was using up remaining stock before fully converting to cardboard.

She added that a perk of the cardboard containers was they could be used directly in the oven or microwave, and the containers had the same leak-proof integrity of the plastic containers.

“We had some issues with these containers where the lids were not staying on,” she said.

However, store owner Jimmy Heal said feedback to the manufacturers had resulted in a few tweaks to fix the issue.

“It shows that these companies are willing to listen if we’re trying these things and giving them that feedback,” he said.

Ms Togo said there were talks under way for finding an alternative to the traditional plastic wrap used in the deli as well.

Shoppers already have the option to also bring their own containers from home for deli and seafood purchases.

Mr Heal said this was not a part of a national decision, and was independent for the Opotiki store.

“It’s something we’ve decided to do,” he said.

“It’s about doing every little bit we can.”