Su­per­mar­kets to ban the bags by 2018

Rodney Times - - OUT & ABOUT - RACHEL CLAYTON

New World will go plas­tic bag free by the end of 2018 af­ter the re­sults of its BagVote showed peo­ple don’t want bags at all. BagVote orig­i­nally asked New World cus­tomers if they wanted a charge of 10c or 5c, or no charge, on sin­gle-use plas­tic bags. The ma­jor­ity asked for a 10c charge, but an over­whelm­ing num­ber of shop­pers con­tacted New World owner Food­stuffs ask­ing for a to­tal ban op­tion. Last week, Count­down an­nounced it would ban sin­gle-use plas­tic bags by 2018, but Food­stuffs North Is­land chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Quin said he would have banned the bag any­way.

‘‘We were out five weeks ago with the BagVote so I sus­pect Count­down might have re­sponded to that ac­tu­ally,’’ he said.

‘‘Even with the other re­tail­ers’ an­nounce­ment there is hun­dreds of mil­lions of plas­tic bags be­ing used at the mo­ment, and what we re­ally have to do is work to­gether with cus­tomers to change shop­ping habits so cus­tomers bring a re­us­able bag into the store.’’

Quin said New World would also start to min­imise other plas­tic pack­ag­ing in stores over the next 18 months.

‘‘We don’t think ban­ning sin­gle use plas­tic bags by a cer­tain date is enough. Gen­uinely get­ting plas­tic

‘‘We be­lieve the an­swer lies in longlife re­us­able bags’’ Chris Quin

out of the en­vi­ron­ment needs more ac­tion than that,’’ he said.

Quin said health and safety con­cerns, cost and tim­ing needed to be looked at.

Pa­per bags were wa­ter and re­source hun­gry in their man­u­fac­ture, he said, and the data on biodegrad­able bags didn’t stack up.

‘‘More of­ten than not they can­not break down in land­fill with­out re­leas­ing harm­ful green­house gases and they can’t be re­cy­cled through the Soft Plas­tics Re­cy­cling pro­gramme.

‘‘We be­lieve the an­swer lies in long-life re­us­able bags.’’

New World will give away 2 mil­lion re­us­able bags over sum­mer, based on dif­fer­ent pro­mo­tions such as how much shop­pers spend.

On Fe­bru­ary 1 next year, it will in­tro­duce a 10c vol­un­tary do­na­tion per plas­tic bag at New World, which will go to en­vi­ron­men­tal causes such as Sea Clean­ers.

Stores will con­tinue the 5c re­bate for each re­us­able bag in North Is­land New World stores. Re­bates for the South Is­land were be­ing looked at.

REXINE HAWES/STUFF

An over­whelm­ing num­ber of shop­pers asked for a to­tal ban of plas­tic bags.

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