More Countdown supermarkets make the move: all South Island stores to phase out single use plastic bags from 8 October

Eighty-five per cent of all Countdown supermarkets, including all South Island stores, will have phased out single-use plastic carrier bags from early next month, with a further 67 stores being added to the roll-out on 8 October.

The further stores are located throughout New Zealand and include the country’s third largest city Christchurch, which will have 15 stores making the change in the same week. All Countdown stores in Ashburton, Napier, Hastings, the Waikato region, Auckland’s North Shore and Timaru will also make the move away from plastic on 8 October.

Countdown’s General Manager of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Kiri Hannifin, says to have the entire South Island network phase out single-use plastic carrier bags is a massive milestone for the business.

“We’re really proud to be continuing to lead the way for supermarkets in New Zealand when it comes to phasing out single-use plastic carrier bags.

“With our stores using on average around 6000 bags every day, the faster we can make this change, the sooner we can make a difference for the environment.  Since we started phasing out single use plastic carrier bags in May, we’ve already removed 22.5 million bags from circulation,” says Kiri Hannifin.

“Sixty-seven stores make the change on 8 October, which is our largest tranche joining the roll-out so far and will mean every one of our South Island Countdown stores is supporting customers to make the move to reusable bags. The end of single-use plastic bags at our checkouts and online is in sight.”

Kiri Hannifin says Countdown has been hugely impressed by their customers who are already adapting well to the changes and adjusting their shopping habits - even in stores where bags are yet to be phased out. 

“Already, we have seen a 17% decrease in the amount of plastic bags our customers are using when they shop with us. Making reusable bags the norm will have long-lasting benefits for New Zealand’s environment. One of the reasons the phase out is going so well is that our customers have really got behind this move and we hope this will continue when these further stores make the change.”

Countdown is committed to having single-use plastic carrier bags phased out in all of our 180 stores by the end of 2018.



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