You voted, they listened: New World to ditch plastic bags from 2018

You voted, they listened: New World to ditch plastic bags from 2018

Following New World’s highly popular poll asking customers to vote on whether to keep plastic bags free or bring in a five or 10 cent charge for each plastic bag they use at the checkout, a different outcome came to light – a commitment to completely phase plastic out completely by the end of 2018.  

Following New World’s highly popular poll asking customers to vote on whether to keep plastic bags free or bring in a five or 10 cent charge for each plastic bag they use at the checkout, a different outcome came to light – a commitment to completely phase plastic out completely by the end of 2018.  

This comes as Progressive (Countdown stores) announced its effort to reduce pollution and plastic bag consumption by phasing out plastic bags.

Foodstuff (New World and Pak n Save stores) initially pledged that if customers voted to pay for bags, they would donate the proceeds to a variety of community and environmental causes including SEACLEANERS, who work to remove rubbish from waterways around New Zealand.

The BAGVOTE polling campaign was open from September 14 to October 8, and resulted in more than 171,240 people voting, with 76.5 percent for a charge for bags. More than 75 percent of those who favoured a charge voted for the top bracket, 10 cents per bag.

Steve Anderson, Managing Director Foodstuffs New Zealand says the recent ban on microbeads in beauty products prompted thoughtful consideration on other ways to be more environmentally friendly.

 “We believe there is a real appetite for change on this issue. Our recent ban on plastic microbeads was met with universal support as was the introduction of 100percent recyclable meat trays. We’re also rolling out electric vehicles across many of our stores and increasing access to soft plastics recycling around the country,” he says.

The outcome had Anderson further commenting saying the omitted phase-out option was “important”.

“Many of our customers told us via email, Facebook, phone and in-store that they wanted this option.”

New World is now aiming to phase out single-use plastic bags by the end of 2018, with a caveat: “This move depends on being able to find the right bag solution to meet our customers’ needs and those of the environment.”

With 2018 imminent, here are the next steps New World supermarkets will make in the process of going completely plastic-free by the end of next year:

  • Two million long-life reusable bags will be given away to New World customers over the summer.
  • A 10c voluntary donation will be available per plastic bag to go towards environmental causes.
  • The 5c rebate will still be in play for North Island New World stores.
  • Expansion of the Soft Plastics Recycling programme will continue.

For more, visit foodstuffs.co.nz/reducing-plastic-bag-usage/

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