Byebye Plastic checkout bags!
350 MILLION PLASTIC BAGS TO BE REMOVED FROM COUNTDOWN EVERY YEAR
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.
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.