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'Green' grocer Foodstuffs announces: No more plastic bags

  • News
  • August 3, 2018
  • Courtney Devereux
'Green' grocer Foodstuffs announces: No more plastic bags

The plastic bag discourse took a turn this week as Coles over in Australia had to push back its ban date due to increasing backlash. While back home, Foodstuffs has announced that from next year all retail and wholesale brands will no longer offer plastic check out bags. 

Australian’s have cemented their reluctance against losing their precious plastic bags, meaning leading supermarket Coles pulled a 180 and re-tracked its plans to ban them from August 1. The original aim was to charge 15 cents each as part of its program as an incentive to get the consumer to shift to reusable bags.

The backlash over the ditch reached critical when an employee was even grabbed by the throat by an angry customer.

Unfortunately yet unsurprisingly, Coles is now receiving backlash on Twitter from people who supported the plastic ban in the first place. With the most common thought being shame in those who took the effort to write into the company to complain about losing plastic bags. 


Now, Coles has pushed the date to August 29 according to the Guardian, to give consumers even more time to prepare, stating that it did not anticipate the change would be this long or difficult.

But as the giant retailer struggles to find firm footing, our own behemoth back home has proven its dedication to the environment by banning single-use plastics by January 1, 2019. It is stated that Liquorland will transition completely out of single-use checkout plastics by February 2019.

The move by Foodstuffs, a Kiwi owned brand, includes umbrella brands such as Four Square, Pac’n Save, Liquorland, New World and Fresh Collective among others.

Steve Anderson, MD Foodstuffs New Zealand, speaking on behalf of all the brands says, “We’ve been part of New Zealand’s landscape for nearly 100 years, feeding and nurturing and employing millions of Kiwis.  We also welcome millions of travelers to our stores as they journey through this amazing country.  We consider it a huge privilege and responsibility to do our best to look after our patch for centuries to come.

“This change to plastic bags, our work to improve and remove plastic packaging where appropriate, our leadership in soft plastics recycling and the ban on microbeads and plastic cotton buds all add up to major changes in the way we look after New Zealand,” says Anderson.

“Since we started this conversation we’ve seen between a 20 to 36 percent drop in plastic bag usage in our stores, but by the time January 1 rolls around this change will have removed more than 350 million plastic bags from circulation.”

The push for reusable bags will increase on October 1, with more options being introduced to prepare for the impending ban.

In response to the fuss across the ditch about plastic bags and customer angst, Anderson says, “We don’t anticipate the same reaction in New Zealand.  Perhaps it’s because Kiwis are keener to look after what we have.  We’re all neighbours, we’re one big family – we look out for each other and our patch. New Zealand is ready to roll with no plastic bags at the checkout from 1 January 2019.  So are we.”

As the plastic bag ban starts to draw closer getting into the habit of using reusable bags will become more necessary, below are some tricks to help with the transition:

1)    Keep your reusable bags in the boot of your car, not the kitchen. This way you’ll always have them on you, even for impromptu trips.

2)    Reusable produce bags are a great way to have the same convenience as plastic while also keeping fruit and veg clean. Store them with your other reusables.

3)    Buy the right one, you’ll only use the one you like. Go for compact, comfortable, self-contained and strong.

4)    Buy enough. You can never have too many, but you’ll be in trouble if you find you don’t have enough. A safe average is five of a decent size.

5)    After shopping put them back in your car or hang them on the door handle.

Countdown has already started phasing out single use plastic bags, with its parent company Progressive Enterprise sticking with its notion to phase them out also in their Australian Woolworths chains. 


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The Retail Hotlist: Blackbird Goods is 'Best provincial retailer'

  • News
  • August 15, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
The Retail Hotlist: Blackbird Goods is 'Best provincial retailer'

Back in June, we celebrated retail's best and brightest with NZ Retail and The Register's first-ever awards: The Retail Hotlist. We've been sharing the stories behind the winners for a couple of months now. Read on for the last installment in the series: Blackbirds Goods of Napier, who won 'Best provincial retailer.'

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Cocavo expands 4,000 stores further into the US

  • News
  • August 14, 2018
  • Courtney Devereux
Cocavo expands 4,000 stores further into the US

Whangarei founded company Cocavo has recently extended into over 4,000 Walmart stores in the US. We spoke to CEO of Cocavo, Chris Nathan, about what it takes to roll out the humble New Zealand product further into international markets.

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The Retail Hotlist: 'Retail visionary' goes to GoodFor's James Denton

  • News
  • August 14, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
The Retail Hotlist: 'Retail visionary' goes to GoodFor's James Denton

We've been sharing the stories behind each winner of our awards programme, The Retail Hotlist. We're nearly at the end of the list - but first, read how James Denton from packageless grocery start-up GoodFor was named 'Retail visionary'.

Read more
 
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Menulog introduces people's choice to online restaurant awards

  • News
  • August 13, 2018
Menulog introduces people's choice to online restaurant awards

Technology has aimed to add convenience to all parts of life, food delivery included. As our nation's love for dining out and ordering in has meant food delivery providers have had to keep up with increasing demand. Menulog, for example, has included a new people’s choice vote in its winter Restaurant Awards.

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The Retail Hotlist: Cecilia Robinson is 'Most influential in retail'

  • News
  • August 13, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
The Retail Hotlist: Cecilia Robinson is 'Most influential in retail'

The Retail Hotlist is The Register and NZ Retail's awards programme. Following the launch in June, we're now sharing the stories behind our winners. This time, Cecilia Robinson, winner of 'Most influential in retail', talks My Food Bag, future predictions and management.

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Vote and win: Vote for our cover in the People’s Choice awards

  • News
  • August 10, 2018
  • The Register team
Vote and win: Vote for our cover in the People’s Choice awards

The NZ Retail and The Register team is excited to announce that we’re one of 12 finalists to win the Magshop People’s Choice Awards for the best magazine cover of 2018. We need your help to get to the finish line, but your support won’t go unrewarded: there’s a prize pool for voters totalling more than $3,300.

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