Greenpeace is offering high praise to one of New Zealand’s supermarket giants today.
Countdown has announced it is eliminating single use plastic shopping bags by the end of next year.
It’s a huge boost for the campaign by Greenpeace and other organisations to “ban the bag”
“Massive props to Countdown today. They’ve taken a bold move that makes them leader of the pack on plastic reduction,” says Greenpeace campaigner Elena Di Palma.
“They’ve realised how strongly the New Zealand public sees these bags as pure environmental craziness. Better than that, they’ve done something about it. Good on them”
This move means 350 million shopping bags will be taken out of the system.
Plastic pollution in the ocean has a devastating impact on marine life. In one recent study, one in three turtles found washed up dead on New Zealand beaches had ingested plastic.
Countdown’s move gazumps tentative moves their competitors have been considering.
New World is polling customers asking whether they wanted to pay a charge for single use bags. Something which Greenpeace has criticized as a weak half-measure.
“Banning the bag is the only answer that deals with the terrible impact of plastic pollution on our oceans and sea life,” says Di Palma.
“We’d like to see Foodstuffs New World, who are considering a 5 or 10 cent charge on bags, to match Countdown’s boldness and eliminate this marine menace”
In its press announcement today, Countdown’s Managing Director Dave Chambers said: “Now is the right time to take the lead, phase out single use plastic carrier bags and introduce better options for customers”.
The supermarket says 83 percent of its customers support the plan.
The environment has played a major role in this year’s election but this new move by Countdown appears to be stronger than any of the political party’s policies on single use plastic.
“We are now calling on the new government to step in and regulate to completely stamp out single use plastic bags.”
“Regulatory action gives the best outcome for our oceans and sea life, and will mean a universal approach that is fair for all retailers.”