New World asks New Zealand to vote on plastic bags
Posted: 14 September 2017
New World supermarkets are giving customers the opportunity to
vote on whether to keep plastic bags free or bring in a five or 10
cent charge for each plastic bag they use at the checkout - in a
concerted effort to reduce pollution.
If customers vote to pay for bags, New World will donate the
proceeds from the bag charge to a variety of community and
environmental causes including SEACLEANERS, who work to remove
rubbish from waterways around New Zealand.
Steve Anderson, Managing Director Foodstuffs New Zealand says,
"We have been working on a wide variety of environmental
initiatives for years now, but the one issue that seems to really
energise our customers is the topic of plastic shopping bags.
We believe the best way forward is to work with our customers and
ask them what they want for the future. The majority decision
in BAGVOTE will rule - but regardless of the outcome, we'll
continue to work on reducing plastic bag use, providing more
reusable bag options and increasing soft plastics recycling."
New World customers can submit a vote online at
www.bagvote.co.nz from midday 14 September through to midnight on 8
October 2017. New World will then publish the results on
Tuesday 10 October.
Anderson says, "We believe there is a real appetite for change
on this issue. Our recent ban on plastic microbeads was met
with universal support as was the introduction of 100 percent
recyclable meat trays. We're also rolling out electric vehicles
across many of our stores and increasing access to soft plastics
recycling around the country."
As further evidence of New World's commitment to reducing bag
usage, North Island owner-operators have also delivered a five cent
rebate to customers who bring their own bags for use at the
checkout, which has resulted in up to a 20 percent drop in plastic
bag usage since it was implemented in January 2016. The
rebate will continue regardless of the BAGVOTE outcome.
SEACLEANERS has been invited to advise the New World team on
more ways to protect the environment.
"SEACLEANERS is an inspiring team with a powerful mission - to
remove rubbish from our seas, harbours and oceans. Since 2002
their team of volunteers has removed 40 million pieces of rubbish
from the waters around New Zealand. A great outcome - but shocking
to know that so much rubbish is in our oceans," Anderson says.
SEACLEANERS is delighted to support New World's campaign to
promote awareness about reducing the use of plastic bags.
"Every day we see the effect of improper use and disposal of
plastic bags in our waterways," says Captain Hayden Smith, who was
voted Local Hero 2017 and is recognised internationally for the
work he and his team do to clean up our seas.
"When New World asked us to get on board and help promote
awareness of the BAGVOTE we were really happy to support
them. We hope that New Zealanders make the simple change to
using more cloth reusable bags, and accept a charge for plastic
bags if they absolutely need one."
For more information on the New World Plastic Bag Vote
head to www.bagvote.co.nz.