Countdown had made moves to lessen its waste by committing to remove single use plastic carrier bags from 42 of its New Zealand stores.
The new move will see two million less plastic bags entre our waste stream each week, as nearly a third of all the Countdown supermarkets across the country make the change to reusable bags.
This makes Countdown the first New Zealand supermarket to make such a move, with the ban set to take place from August 13.
Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s general manager corporate affairs, says the supermarket is proud to be making real progress towards removing single-use plastic carrier bags from all of its checkouts and online shopping service by the end of the year.
“With nearly a third of our stores on board, some entire towns, cities and regions will be single-use plastic carrier bag free when you shop at Countdown,” says Hannifin. “We are listening to the growing level of concern New Zealanders have around plastic pollution. Small changes can make a huge difference, which is why we are moving quickly to deliver on our promise to remove single-use plastic carrier bags and reduce the use of unnecessary plastic wherever and whenever possible across our business.”
From Oamaru down to Invercargill, Hannifin says she is happy with how well customers are embracing the change. Along with the phase out of plastic bags, the chain will also be removing plastic straws from stores by October 1.
The move coincides with the agreement from several local councils that plastic use needs to be regulated. Christchurch City councilors voted in April to try reduce the use of plastic bags by cutting them from libraries and council-run events.