New Zealand will be free of plastic carrier bags at the checkout next year – and that’s good news.

Last week Foodstuffs announced that all its other retail and wholesale stores would be joining New World, PAK'nSAVE and Four Square and no longer offer single-use plastic carrier bags at the checkout from 1 January 2019.

The other brands include Raeward Fresh, Liquorland, Gilmours, Trents, Henry’s, and On The Spot convenience stores. 776 stores in total.  350 million bags no longer in the environment.

The move is part of the 100% New Zealand owned Co-operative’s programme to do its bit to look after this precious country.  Today’s announcement from the Government means that everyone in retail will soon be on the same page.

“We consider it a huge privilege and responsibility to do our best to look after our patch for centuries to come. Our commitment to reducing plastic waste is clear – and we’re working with our customers to make a real and meaningful difference beyond plastic bags," said Steve Anderson, MD Foodstuffs NZ.

“It’s important that we acknowledge that some customers may take a bit more help to get there.  We’re going all out to ensure that we have very affordable reusable bag options available in our stores, we’ve given away millions of bags and we’ll continue to encourage Kiwis to get creative and hunt high and low in their homes, garages and garden sheds to find bags or containers they can clean up and re-purpose for their groceries.”

There’s no doubt that New Zealanders are passionate guardians of our very special place in the world.  Businesses like our 100% Kiwi owned co-operative are more than happy to do whatever we can so that we can enjoy our environment for the future.