Plastic not fantastic

New World and Countdown have announced that they will phase out single-use plastic bags.

Hot on the heels of the announcement by Countdown that they will phase out single-use plastic bags in their supermarkets by the end of next year, New World has announced that they will follow suit.

A ‘BagVote’ revealed that customers overwhelmingly wanted New World to start charging for the bags, however they also discovered a desire among consumers to eliminate the bags altogether.

“Our customers also asked us to look harder at paper and biodegradable alternatives,” Foodstuffs, New World’s owner, said in a statement.

Countdown’s Managing Director Dave Chambers

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.”

Countdown estimates that their stance will remove around 350 million plastic bags from landfills and the environment.

Leamington FreshChoice manager, Helen McHugh, said FreshChoice supermarkets will also be phasing out the bags.  Like Foodstuffs, however, they will be looking into alternatives to the bags.

“While we are yet to specify a transition deadline for FreshChoice, we will be allocating a working group to actively source and implement alternative measures for single-use plastic bags to enable us to work towards a confirmed deadline,” said the head of the FreshChoice Group, Robert Smith.

“In the interim, we are currently taking part in a number of initiatives to benefit the environment, including compostable and paper bag trials, paper bags being used for all Click and Collect orders and recyclable meat trays are in use at all stores,” he said.

All three companies have taken the position that charging for single-use plastic bags is not the best option, as the bags will still end up in landfills or elsewhere.

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