Countdown bins plastic bags

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Countdown is to phase out single-use plastic bags at its supermarkets by the end of next year.

The supermarket chain’s managing director Dave Chambers says customer research found 83 percent support for phasing out plastic carrier bags.

Dave says the ban would result in 350 million fewer plastic bags ending up in rubbish tips.

"Now is the right time to take the lead, phase out single-use plastic carrier bags and introduce better options for customers."

The company looked at charging for bags but decided it wasn’t the right option for customers or the environment, he says.

SuperValue and FreshChoice and the parent company Progressive Enterprises have also committed to phasing out single-use bags but have not decided on a deadline.

Dave says customers had adapted well to the company’s first plastic free supermarket, on Waiheke Island, which started in May last year.

Greenpeace praised the company for its "bold move".

Greenpeace campaigner Elena Di Palma says it made them the "leader of the pack on plastic reduction".

The environmental group called on Foodstuffs New World to also eliminate single-use bags.

"Banning the bag is the only answer that deals with the terrible impact of plastic pollution on our oceans and sea life," says Di Palma.

"We are now calling on the new government to step in and regulate to completely stamp out single-use plastic bags."

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Posted on 12-10-2017 12:23 | By GreertonBoy

Any modern plastic bag can not entrap an animal... you are lucky to be able to get a modern plastic shopping bag home without it starting to fall apart... after a day in the sun, you cant even pick the bag up they break down so quickly. Any photos you see of animals being constricted by plastic bags are the old style of supermarket plastic bag that are already there. I have no problem buying bin liners, however the bin liner wont break down as fast as a modern plastic shopping bag. The packet of bin liners (10) in its own heavy duty plastic bag takes up the same space in a box as 100 modern plastic bags and the same space as 2 woven ’green’ cloth bags. Give up the koolaid Minib and see the truth, not what you are told to believe. Wakey wakey


Posted on 08-10-2017 13:59 | By Papamoaner

Your argument is sound, and you are quite right about supermarket bags breaking down. Properly used, they actually help look after the environment by enabling us to avoid worse alternatives as our population grows. For example paper mills, needed for paper bag production, and their support industries, are actually more environmentally harmful. When it comes down to analysis, plastic bags "cop the rap" primarily because they are "in our face" But most of them end up appropriately to break down in rubbish dumps, pretentiously referred to these days as "landfills"

Plastic flotsam

Posted on 08-10-2017 09:20 | By Papamoaner

If you travel by ferry between islands anywhere near the equator, enormous acres of plastics are seen floating together. If you take a closer look you will see no supermarket bags or anything of that nature. It’s all industrial plastic of one sort or another. Likewise on isolated coasts of New Zealand, the natural driftwood banks along gravel beaches are now FULL of plastic objects -not supermarket bags. I’m not saying those bags are good, but I am saying they are only a symptom of the disease, and banning them is cynically cosmetic in a "look good" exercise. Cunning because it lets them off the hook about dealing with the REAL plastics problem, by distracting a gullible public with high visibility bags. Supermarket bags get stuck in trees and look suitably disgusting, so have a conveniently higher profile.

Bags and turtles

Posted on 06-10-2017 08:33 | By Papamoaner

The plastics killing sea life are heavier examples like beer can mesh. Just for the fun of it I measured some plastics thickness last night;- Yellow PaknSave bags 20 microns. Black bin liners 80 microns. Commercial black polythene 180 microns. It’s easy to see why supermarket bags break down so readily and are not the main problem. Takes me back to my first post where I mentioned those wrapped pallets up high above supermarket shelves - I’m guessing they are 180 micron clear polythene. Weight-wise 20 supermarket bags equals one plastic clothes peg with steel spring removed. Get my point? I’ll say it again - Plastics are a problem, but supermarket bags are the least of it. Getting rid of them "looks good" but doesn’t solve the problem. Other measures would, but they "cost money"

@ GreertonBoy

Posted on 05-10-2017 18:45 | By Minib

I would have thought it was a small price to pay for a bin liner to stop a turtle been killed by a wayward plastic bag.Show some compassion for the animals in this world.

Not for the Environment

Posted on 05-10-2017 05:45 | By johnmcd03

If they were serious about the environment they would be supplying compostable ’plastic’ bags readily available. People will now have to buy bags off the shelves to do all the jobs that plastic shopping bags are used for once they get them home. A good little money earner for Countdown.

Don't people realise....

Posted on 05-10-2017 03:11 | By GreertonBoy

As more and more shops ban plastic bags, we will have to buy plastic bags to put rubbish in at home. I have a couple of small pedal bins that fit shopping plastic bags perfectly.... once no one supplies plastic bags, I will have to buy them. Already, a shop plastic bag that sits in the sun for any length of time starts falling apart, so modern shop bags are quite environmentally friendly. The bags I will have to buy for my bin wont degrade at all... so, I say KEEP supplying plastic bags that degrade quickly and PEOPLE learn to not let them blow down the street and into the rivers and oceans. Plastic bags are not the issue here.... it is irresponsible people who cant tie a knot in them and throw them in the bin, or use them as liners. Banning them will cost YOU andME


Posted on 04-10-2017 19:13 | By Papamoaner

I think you confused me with someone else.

Good move

Posted on 04-10-2017 18:13 | By Minib

Well done Countdown this will lead to others following suit and hopefully in a few years time we can eliminate this scourge from NZ,Only good can come from this.


Posted on 04-10-2017 18:06 | By Papamoaner

It’s amazing how some people can completely miss the point.


Posted on 04-10-2017 15:41 | By thebrad

Papamoaner this is a good idea get your head out of your a$$ and stop moaning, get a life and carry on.

Small step but it's still one going forward...

Posted on 04-10-2017 15:34 | By 1 4 GK

Well done Countdown! No doubt you have supplier contracts through to 2018 to manage exits from and maybe some stock on hand as well.Agree with Papamoaner (who nearly ALWAYS moans) that next steps should be to have other suppliers look at different packaging materials.

So why wait till next year

Posted on 04-10-2017 15:05 | By JEM

Good work. BUT why wait till end of next year????????????????????????????????


Posted on 04-10-2017 14:30 | By MaureenR

Bring back Paper bags...guess if they did someone else will have a moan about cutting down to many trees :(

by the end of next year!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on 04-10-2017 14:20 | By Smilarkie



Posted on 04-10-2017 13:58 | By AaronMecock

What am I supposed to do with my rubbish in the kitchen if I don’t use supermarket bags? It all goes in landfill anyway, along with all the other non decomp stuff. Some people just want to make life difficult. I’m here to enjoy my time and have an easy life for god sake.

Pales into insignificance

Posted on 04-10-2017 13:19 | By Papamoaner

It’s a bit PR cosmetic really. Look up above the shelves and see big pallets of bulk groceries wrapped in acres of heavy plastic much thicker than checkout bags. If you’re serious about this for environmental reasons, deal with plastic pollution across the board where it makes a difference, not just where it’s "seen" otherwise you’re just posturing.