Lovey's IGA Dungog allows customers to bring their own containers

CHOICE: Dungog IGA's Deb Taylor hands over a cardboard box to store manager Craig Stephenson.
CHOICE: Dungog IGA's Deb Taylor hands over a cardboard box to store manager Craig Stephenson.

Dungog's push to become single use plastic free by the end of July has gone up a notch with the town's supermarket giving customers a choice not offered in the big cities.

The Dowling Street store allows customers to bring in their own containers for their deli meats and ready to eat options rather than using disposable plastic containers or plastic wraps.

"We are really the only ones doing this in the Hunter and we are the first IGA to do it," said store manager Craig Stephenson.

"We did our homework with the NSW Food Authority before we started, who said there was absolutely no reason why we can't do it, but we have to be careful and we reserve the right to refuse to use people's containers."

Mr Stephenson said allergen issues were the main concern which customers had to take responsibility for when using their own containers. He said the staff exercise common sense but he is confident the community is diligent in regards to cleanliness.

The store and Clarence Town IGA went single use plastic bag free last year in July and customers have now adapted to the change.

"It doesn't seem that long ago that your meat came in butchers paper but by default we tend to grab a plastic bag and wrap it in that first," said Mr Stephenson.

"As long as the product is suitable, people are more than happy to reject the plastic and just have it in the butcher's paper or a cardboard box."

Mr Stephenson said to alleviate people's concerns, the products are weighed first, then put in to the customer's container.