Woolworths bans plastic bag in New Zealand

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 9th October 2017

Woolworths is banning plastic bags in its New Zealand Countdown supermarket stores.

By the end of 2018, single-use bags will no longer be available in-store and through online shopping.

The move follows Woolworths’ decision to ban all single-use plastic bags in its Australian supermarkets by the end of 2018. On the same day Woolworths decided to ban the bag in Australia, Coles and Harris Farm Markets also announced that they too would ban single-use plastic bags.

Countdown Managing Director, Dave Chambers, said now is the right time to take the lead and phase-out single-use plastic bags.

“This move will result in the removal of 350 million plastic bags from our waste stream and environment,” Chambers said.

“We have been tracking customer sentiment for two years and our most recent research, concluded in August, indicates that 83 per cent of our customers support phasing-out single-use plastic carrier bags.”

To help transition to the bag ban, Countdown is reducing the price of its reusable bags from NZ $1.39 to NZ $1.00. Other initiatives which aim to make sustainability more affordable will be introduced over the coming months.

Countdown online shoppers where soft plastic recycling schemes are in place can now give delivery drivers their soft plastics instead of having to take them to in-store collection points.

Franchised New Zealand supermarkets which are part of the Woolworths family, SuperValue and FreshChoice, have committed to also phasing out single-use plastic bags with both finalising a transition deadline. Compostable and paper bags are already on trial at a number of SuperValue and FreshChoice stores.


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