Bye­bye Plas­tic check­out bags!

350 MIL­LION PLAS­TIC BAGS TO BE RE­MOVED FROM COUNT­DOWN EV­ERY YEAR

Food - - Foodie Folk -

Count­down has an­nounced it plans to phase out sin­gle use plas­tic car­rier bags from its stores and in on­line shop­ping by the end of 2018. The su­per­mar­ket chain is the first na­tional re­tailer to make this move in New Zealand.

Count­down is com­mit­ted to mak­ing the tran­si­tion as easy as pos­si­ble for cus­tomers, and new af­ford­able, sus­tain­able op­tions will be in­tro­duced. As a first step, Count­down’s re­us­able bags have been locked down to $1 each, with more cus­tomer-fo­cussed ini­tia­tives to fol­low.

Time for ac­tion

Count­down’s Manag­ing Di­rec­tor Dave Cham­bers is de­lighted to an­nounce the ini­tia­tive. “Now is the right time to take the lead, phase out sin­gle use plas­tic car­rier bags and in­tro­duce bet­ter op­tions for cus­tomers,” he says.

“We’ve been track­ing cus­tomer sen­ti­ment for two years and our most re­cent re­search in­di­cates 83 per cent of our cus­tomers sup­port phas­ing out sin­gle use plas­tic car­rier bags. “In May 2016, Count­down in­tro­duced New Zealand’s first plas­tic bag-free su­per­mar­ket on Wai­heke Is­land. Cus­tomers are bring­ing their own bags and we have com­postable bags on sale for 15 cents. Cus­tomers adapted quickly, and we have had very pos­i­tive feed­back. “We’re con­fi­dent Ki­wis will get in be­hind this change for the good of the en­vi­ron­ment, and Count­down is com­mit­ted to mak­ing the move away from sin­gle use plas­tic car­rier bags as sim­ple for cus­tomers as we can.” Pro­gres­sive En­ter­prises’ fran­chise brands Su­per­value and Fresh­choice have also com­mit­ted to phas­ing out sin­gle use plas­tic bags as soon as they can.

De­liv­er­ing bet­ter

The phase-out will also ap­ply to Count­down’s na­tional on­line shop­ping ser­vice. Tri­als are al­ready

‘Now is the ir ght time to take the lead, phase out is ngle use plas­tic car­rier bags and in­tro­duce bet­ter op­tions for cus­tomers’

un­der­way to re­place sin­gle use plas­tic bags in de­liv­er­ies.

Count­down on­line shop­pers liv­ing in ar­eas where the Soft Plas­tics Re­cy­cling scheme is in place (Auck­land, Hamil­ton, Welling­ton and the South Is­land) can also now re­turn their soft plas­tics to their de­liv­ery driver for re­cy­cling, in­stead of tak­ing them into a store.

Count­down cur­rently in­vests $8 mil­lion an­nu­ally in cash and kind to com­mu­nity and en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tives. The su­per­mar­ket chain has New Zealand’s lead­ing Food Res­cue pro­gramme, di­vert­ing al­most $6 mil­lion worth of food an­nu­ally to food banks and food char­i­ties. Ev­ery year Count­down gives out more than 2.6 mil­lion free pieces of fruit to kids.

Wai­heke Is­land Count­down is al­ready sin­gle use plas­tic bag-free, left. Re­us­able bags have been locked down in price, be­low.

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