New World adopts plastic free goal

The New World supermarket is aiming to be single-use plastic bag free by the end of 2018, Foodstuffs says.

Last week Countdown committed to phasing out single-use plastic bags by the end of next year.

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.

New World said today it had put out a survey asking its customers if they would pay 5 cents, 10 cents, or prefer to keep plastic bags free of charge

Foodstuffs New Zealand managing director Steve Anderson says the overwhelming majority of the more than 170,000 respondents voted to charged for bags.

"But we missed an important question - no bag at all. Many of our customers told us via email, Facebook, phone and in-store that they wanted this option," Mr Anderson said.

"Our customers also asked us to look harder at paper and biodegradable alternatives - both have their issues, but they are constantly being improved."

Steve says the process of potentially going plastic-bag free would begin by giving away two million long-life reusable bags its customers this summer.

In February it would introduce a 10c voluntary donation per plastic bag at to go to environmental causes.

It would also continue its 5 cent rebate for reusable bags in its North Island stores and expand its soft recycling programme.

"It’s a big task but we are totally committed to change - we always have been."

Retail NZ says New World’s efforts would have a positive environmental benefit for New Zealand.

"There’s increasing customer demand across the board for retailers to eliminate single-use plastic bags, and today’s announcement shows that New World is listening," says its public affairs manager Greg Harford.

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Posted on 11-10-2017 08:24 | By Papamoaner

Yes, you’re onto it alright. it’s the airborne nature of unknotted bags that gives them the high profile. If we want to get excited about bag pollution, How about those big 40kg fibreglass reinforced poultry feed bags and 40kg rice sacks that never decompose but end up in the rubbish tip anyway? Jute was once the industry standard for agricultural sacks, but now it’s fibreglass that never breaks down. Nobody gets excited about that because they are not "seen" by the minions. I have noticed that ice cream containers and similar stuff like yoghurt pottles are quite prominent in coastal driftwood along otherwise beautiful remote beaches, but we don’t see townies jumping up and down about that do we. What a misguided croc of the proverbial.

Agree with you guys...

Posted on 11-10-2017 02:25 | By GreertonBoy

I use supermarket bags as bin liners, once the bags are banned, I will have to buy plastic bin liners... which wont degrade anywhere near as quick as a supermarket bag.... The supermarket plastic bags fall to bits after a few days in the sun, the bin liners I will have to buy wont. People just need to be responsible enough to tie a knot in them when empty so they cant blow away.... and either recycle them or reuse them rather than let them blow down the road. Yes, the blister packaging... so perfect, so clear.... so wasteful.....

@Maildrop - Voila !

Posted on 10-10-2017 21:18 | By Papamoaner

We agree on something at last. I wouldn’t have put it quite as strongly as you did, but you are correct. Supermarket bags cop the rap because they’re in everyone’s face on a daily basis. We are starting to seriously knock the planet around nowadays, but supermarket bags are not a part of it in any measurable amount. It’s just cosmetic posturing.


Posted on 10-10-2017 18:31 | By overit

If people were genuinely concerned about the Planet, they would not use plastic bags for rubbish bins- instead use nothing and wash out the bin with soap and water. But nah, modern man is all about convenience.

All Plastic?!

Posted on 10-10-2017 17:42 | By A Different Take

Are the Super Markets going to phase out all plastic, no, just the plastic that doesn’t affect their sales. Oh, some people will think this will save the world, that’s about the only good it will do!


Posted on 10-10-2017 16:26 | By maildrop

This will have virtually zero effect on the environment. But it will give some people a warm feeling and allow them to applaud themselves, whilst big business and governments continue raping the planet. It’s just a publicity stunt. Neither supermarket business gives two hoots about bags, they just see it as a way to increase market share because they know there are plenty of suckers out there.

Charge, but don't degrade your customer service.

Posted on 10-10-2017 13:42 | By Papamoaner

Checkout bags are not the problem. They are less than 20 microns thick and decompose quite well. Yes there is a serious pollution problem around plastics but it isn’t checkout bags. Take a walk along any NZ driftwood coast and see the huge amount of plastic mixed with driftwood, and you won’t find many checkout bags. The plastic that kills by entanglement, is mostly beer-can mesh, being thick and strong. The current hype is just posturing to "look good and green" but in fact achieves little on the pollution front. In fact checkout bags help by enabling us to avoid more serious methods like paper bags (Pulp and paper Mills are big polluters). Charge for bags by all means. I won’t shop where there are none if I can avoid it.

Not the answer

Posted on 10-10-2017 13:00 | By rogue

Congratulations on a cost saving measure New World... guess the savings will be passed onto consumers. Who will now have to buy rubbish bags to line their bins.The real answer is to put pressure on manufacturers not to wrap everything in unnecessary plastics.