When we launched the project the discussion was all about introducing a levy, so we wanted to ask our customers what they thought.
The overwhelming majority has voted ‘yes - charge me 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.
Our customers also asked us to look harder at paper and biodegradable alternatives – both have their issues, but they are constantly being improved.
New World is aiming to be single-use plastic bag free by the end of 2018. This move depends on being able to find the right bag solution to meet our customers’ needs and those of the environment.
To get there as quickly as possible we are implementing a number of really exciting initiatives to help New Zealanders adjust to life without single-use plastic bags. We’re taking the conversation even further and reviewing our approach to plastic packaging, plastic products and minimising waste overall.
It’s a big task but we are totally committed to change – we always have been.
So here’s what’s next for us:
- We’re giving away a whopping 2 million long-life reusable bags to our New World customers this summer;
- On 1 February 2018 we will introduce a 10c voluntary donation per plastic bag at New World, which will go to environmental causes including our amazing friends at Sea Cleaners;
- We’re continuing the 5c rebate for each reusable bag in our North Island New World stores, which has resulted in a 20 percent reduction in plastic bag use;
- And, we are committed to promoting and expanding the Soft Plastics Recycling programme. Our customers contribute more than two thirds of the total volume of plastic recycling in the country. The top 10 stores in the country, by volume of plastic recycling, are all Foodstuffs stores.
New Zealanders have always been able to make a personal choice to ban plastic bags from their lives and use reusable bags or boxes for their groceries – they just need to change the habit of a lifetime.
We’re grateful for the support we received from the community for taking a leadership position on this issue.
We’re 100% New Zealand owned and operated – and 100% for New Zealand. The fact that other retailers are now engaged on the plastic bag issue is a win for the environment and we are so pleased this important environmental issue is being addressed.
A New Zealand with less plastic has got to be better. Let’s get there together.