Plastic Reduction

How are we reducing the plastic usage in our stores

Plastic Reduction
Mark A'Court our FreshChoice Nelson with new recyclable bag options

Find out about what initiatives we are doing to reduce the use of single-use plastic in our stores.

As a business, we have both the responsibility and opportunity to do the right thing by our people, our communities and the planet, we are therefore actively working on initiatives to reduce more single-use plastic in our stores.

Our Progress So Far

A number of our supermarkets have also removed single-use plastic bags from their produce departments.

FAQ's

  • What options have I got if I forgot my bags?
    Our first preference is for you to bring your own from home. We think this is the best option for our customers and for our planet. If you get caught out, FreshChoice's $1 black Bag for Keeps is your best option - when it wears out, we’ll replace it for free.
    We also have an FSC certified, recyclable paper bag available to purchase for 20c as well as a range of other reusable jute bags. All of our options are reusable and designed to be used again and again.

  • How does the $1 Bag For Keeps work?
    You can read about our Bag for Keeps here.

  • Are paper bags better than plastic bags?
    The government has banned single-use plastic shopping bags because they are polluting our environment as they are lightweight and easily transported by wind and water.
    Our new paper bags are Forest Stewardship Council certified, 100% recyclable and are a good option as they break down easily in marine environments or eventually disintegrate in landfill if they end up in the waste-stream. While paper isn't perfect, we think it's less harmful to our oceans and waterways as it easily breaks down. ​

  • Why do some stores still have plastic bags in produce, even after the government ban?
    Produce bags don’t fall under the government legislation however, we know we need to find an alternative option- especially one that won’t have a big cost impact for our customers. We also need to make sure our store systems can recognise the weight of whatever we introduce. This is something we’re working on at the moment. In the meantime, customers can either not use a bag at all and put their produce straight in their basket or trolley, or bring their own reusable produce bags.

  • What are you doing with the money made from resuable bags?
    We want to make the move to reusable bags as easy and affordable for customers as possible. That’s why bringing your own bags is our first preference. If you get caught out, then Countdown’s $1 black Bag for Keeps is your next best option - when it wears out, we’ll replace it for free.
    Phasing out single-use plastic bags was never a financially driven decision for our business. It was in response to customer demand and our commitment to reduce our environmental footprint. We don’t expect to make a profit from the sale of our paper bags.

  • What about online shopping?
    Customers who shop online with our online stores will receive their groceries in either cardboard boxes or paper bags.