Countdown’s three Whangarei stores have officially become plastic bag free for one day in celebration of the brand's partnership with Kelly Tarlton’s Turtle Rescue.
Countdown made the promise to have all its stores free of plastic bags by the end of this year, as part of its broader efforts to minimise waste. Waiheke who went plastic bag free in 2016.
The plastic-free day in Whangarei was commenced with the release of two endangered marine turtles of the Whangarei coast, the partnership is New Zealand’s only turtle rescue and recovery service.
The day was also celebrated by the chain giving away free reusable bags, more than 15,000 reusable bags to be given away free today.
Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, says Countdown is very proud to have partnered with Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Turtle Rehabilitation programme.
“Countdown was the first supermarket in New Zealand to commit to phasing out single use plastic carrier bags from our checkouts and online shopping by the end of this year. We know it’s just one step and there’s more to do to reduce plastic pollution,” says Kiri Hannifin.
“To celebrate our partnership with Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s and to say haere ra to our two turtle friends, today we’ve gone plastic bag free at our checkouts and online shopping in Whangarei where the two turtles are being released, and are giving away more than 15,000 reusable bags to customers to help them reduce their reliance on plastic,” she says.
“We’re committed to reducing plastic in New Zealand and at the same time, supporting our customers so we can all help protect our precious marine life.”
When The Register readers were polled on election issues during September 2017, there was a strong appetite for banning single-use plastic bags at a national level. More than 63 percent of respondents indicated support for this course of action, with comments including a call for a plastics levy or the re-introduction of paper bags.
In October 2017, New World planned to meet Countdown’s goal and also phase out plastic bags by 2018. The chain had aimed to give away 2 million long-life reusable bags over the summer and introduced a charge for plastic bags in February this year.