10 Oct 2017

New World adopts single-use plastic free goal

12:37 pm on 10 October 2017

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

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Photo: composite

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 said 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."

Mr Anderson said 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," Mr Anderson said.

Retail NZ said 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," its public affairs manager Greg Harford said.

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