WHANGAREI COUNTDOWN GO PLASTIC BAG FREE

Countdown’s three Whangarei stores have gone plastic bag free at the checkout and online for the day and will be giving away free reusable bags in celebration of today’s release of two endangered marine turtles off the Whangarei coast, part of Countdown’s new partnership with Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Turtle Rehabilitation Programme, New Zealand’s only turtle rescue and recovery service.

Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s is today releasing the two turtles back to the wild near the Poor Knights Islands, both of whom have been in the rehabilitation programme for more than a year.

Daniel Henderson, General Manager, Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s said of the seven species of marine turtles that exist in the world, five can be found in New Zealand waters.  All are classified as endangered, with some being on the verge of extinction.

“Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s is dedicated to supporting marine life through our world-class rehabilitation services and 30 years of combined experience, and today’s release was no exception.  After years of rehabilitation and hard work in nursing these turtles – Oscar and Kiwa – back to health, it was very rewarding to see them swim off into the distance,” said Daniel Henderson.

“Unfortunately, the awful reality is that most of these turtles are impacted by plastic pollution in our seas.  At Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s we are currently looking after a Hawksbill turtle that had ingested three types of plastic.  Our aim is to educate the public on the effect plastic pollution has on not just turtles but marine life in general, and we are pleased that Countdown is dedicated to reducing its plastic footprint.”

Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, says Countdown is very proud to have partnered with Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Turtle Rehabilitation programme.

“Countdown was the first supermarket in New Zealand to commit to phasing out single-use plastic carrier bags from our checkouts and online shopping by the end of this year.  We know it’s just one step and there’s more to do to reduce plastic pollution,” said Kiri Hannifin.

“To celebrate our partnership with Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s and to say haere ra to our two turtle friends, today we’ve gone plastic bag free at our checkouts and online shopping in Whangarei where the two turtles are being released, and are giving away more than 15,000 reusable bags to customers to help them reduce their reliance on plastic.”

“We’re committed to reducing plastic in New Zealand and at the same time, supporting our customers so we can all help protect our precious marine life.”