New World’s plastic bag poll “rigged”, says Greenpeace

Press release - September 21, 2017
Greenpeace has joined growing public criticism over New World supermarket’s poll on single-use plastic bags, which neglects to offer public the option of an outright ban.

Instead, the New World poll only offers three options to pay varying amounts for each bag - 10 cents, five cents, or no charge.

Greenpeace campaign adviser, Steve Abel, says New World is insulting its customers by not even giving them the option to support a blanket ban on the deadly bags.

Plastic pollution in the ocean has a devastating impact on marine life. In a recent study, one in three turtles found washed up dead on New Zealand beaches had ingested plastic.

“It’s bewildering that New World has excluded the most basic solution to plastic bag pollution - banning bags altogether,” Abel says.

“The poll seems rigged to support ongoing bag use, either with or without a levy. Without banning single-use plastic bags outright as an option, this poll has zero credibility. Instead, it raises questions about the motives of New World, and its parent company, Foodstuffs.”

Another of Foodstuffs supermarket brands, PAK’nSAVE, already sells single-use plastic bags. Greenpeace has tried to contact Foodstuffs general marketing manager, Steve Bayliss, in an effort to uncover how much profit the company may currently be making from selling plastic bags.

There is no information available at present about how PAK'nSAVE uses the income generated from plastic bag sales.

Foodstuffs has said any income from charging for plastic bags at New World in future would be donated to environmental or community causes .

“It is self-defeating logic to use the income made from selling plastic bags, to clean up our environment that is being ruined with these plastic bags,” Abel says.

“Introducing levies that go towards charities can also create a positive incentive for people to buy plastic bags.

“The best solution is a regulatory ban that is fair and universal for all retailers. If Foodstuffs really are serious about saving turtles and sea-life from plastic pollution in our oceans, then a ban is what they should be supporting and promoting.

“Now is a time for bold leadership from retailers and politicians, not rigged consumer polls. Other countries have successfully banned the bag - it’s high time New Zealand stepped up too, for the good of our oceans and precious sea life like turtles.”

Greenpeace is currently running a petition calling for a ban on single-use plastic bags, and over 35,000 people have signed it.


The New World poll can be seen here.

For more info:

Steve Abel, Greenpeace NZ campaign advisor, 021 927 301.