New World wants your plas­tic bag feed­back

Marlborough Express - - BUSINESS - LEITH HUFFADINE

New World shop­pers have a choice: To pay for plas­tic bags – or not.

The su­per­mar­ket chain is launch­ing a cam­paign to find out what ac­tion cus­tomers want it to take on sin­gle-use plas­tic bags.

They’ll have three op­tions to choose from: To pay five cents per bag, 10 cents per bag, or to con­tinue pay­ing noth­ing.

Pro­ceeds from bag charges will go to en­vi­ron­men­tal or com­mu­nity causes.

Vot­ing on the op­tions will be open un­til mid­night on Oc­to­ber 8 at www.bagvote.co.nz. The re­sults will be pub­lished on Oc­to­ber 10.

Food­stuffs, which owns New World, hoped to im­ple­ment any change by late Jan­uary 2018.

When asked why New World wasn’t of­fer­ing an op­tion to get rid of plas­tic bags al­to­gether, Food­stuffs man­ag­ing direc­tor Steve An­der­son said: ‘‘I think we strongly want to re­duce the amount of sin­gle-use plas­tic bags.

‘‘And we have been do­ing a num­ber of strate­gies over the years to do that – for in­stance, a re­bates sys­tem in the North Is­land, we use soft plas­tic re­cy­cling, and we also pro­vide a lot of re­us­able bags.’’

Even if shop­pers chose the sta­tus quo, New World would still work to­wards a re­duc­tion of plas­tic bags and op­tions such as soft plas­tic re­cy­cling, he said.

New World had been work­ing on the spe­cific plan in the past month or two as a re­sult of the in­creas­ing ac­tion about plas­tic bags, An­der­son said.

Pak’n Save, which is also owned by Food­stuffs, al­ready has plas­tic bag charges in place. That caused a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in the num­ber of bags used, An­der­son said.

A Food­stuffs spokes­woman said New World would also make more re­us­able bags avail­able for shop­pers.

New World would pro­mote the cam­paign on­line, in­store, via so­cial me­dia and on tele­vi­sion.

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