Supermarket brand Countdown has revealed the first ten stores that will phase out single-use plastic bags.
Countdown was the first New Zealand supermarket to announce it will discontinue single-use plastic bags from its checkouts and online shopping service for good. The company currently produces a whopping 350 million plastic bags every year.
The initiative will come into effect from 21 May. The ten stores selected — including four Auckland stores and outposts from Dargarville to Christchurch — will provide customer feedback that will roll out across all Countdown's 182 supermarket before the end of 2018. They were selected because they represent a range of store sizes, checkout and bag carousel layouts, cities and smaller towns.
Kiri Hannifin, Countdown's General Manager Corporate Affairs, says "The debate is over on why we are doing this and now it's time to get moving."
Since announcing the decision to phase out single-use bags last year, the company has already reduced its output of plastic bags by 16 percent. In a double win for Mother Nature, Foodstuffs also announced that it will discontinue single-use bags by the end of 2018.
Single-use plastic bags will be phased out at the following Countdown stores from 21 May.