Shoprite launches bigger, stronger shopping bags for taxi commuters

By our News Team | 2022

South African retail giant believes the standard-size shopping bags it has been using disadvantaged customers travelling on public transport.

In response to customers and employees’ needs, South African national supermarket retailer Shoprite has launched a bigger and stronger carrier bag primarily for taxi commuters and consumers who make use of public transport.

Taxi passengers in the country are often charged extra for each bag they carry, particularly on busier routes. Therefore, a larger carrier bag which can hold more groceries should save customers money when they go shopping, the retailer says.

Retail Innovation

Photo courtesy of Shoprite Group

The new bags have a carrying capacity two-and-a-half times greater than the standard bag (60-litre capacity vs 24-litre capacity) and are similarly two-and-a-half times stronger. They are also recyclable and reusable.

However, the bigger bag is also four times the price (ZAR4 vs ZAR1), which may deter some customers. 

Easier to carry one big bag when commuting

“The idea came from listening to employees and customers who travel by taxi.  It’s also much easier to carry one big bag when walking or using public transport,” explained Sanjeev Raghubir, Shoprite Group Sustainability Manager, in a media statement.

The South African minibus taxi industry undertakes some 15-million commuter trips per day, transporting roughly 68% of the country’s households to and from work and school every weekday. It is also an important feeder into other transport modes such as bus and rail.

In 2013 the Shoprite Group – which has brands such as Checkers, OK and Liquor Shop in its stable – became the first national retailer in the country to introduce shopping bags made from 100% recycled content in its supermarkets.

The group says in the statement that it recycled more than 5 400 tons of plastic in the last year –more than 600kg per hour – through its reverse-logistics operations. To promote a circular economy, the group is also working towards ensuring that 100% if its own-brand packaging is reusable, recyclable and compostable, and that it contains on average 30% recycled material content by 2025.

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.