Countdown has announced that it will no longer be selling single-use straws in its supermarkets as part of the company’s continued efforts reduce and remove unnecessary plastics. The move will see an expected 11.6 million plastic straws removed from circulation and the waste stream each year. Environmentally friendly alternatives will be stocked in the supermarket instead. They will include bamboo, metal and paper straws.

Countdown has been making efforts to help deliver better outcomes for New Zealand’s environment. “We’re serious about reducing and removing unnecessary plastic as part of our focus on protecting New Zealand’s natural environment. The phasing out of single-use plastic bags and packs of single-use plastic straws are great examples of this,” said Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs and Sustainability.

“Like other plastic and packaging, straws can have a disastrous impact on the marine environment if they end up there. One of the best ways we can reduce that impact is by moving away from selling products that are used once and then thrown away, and by making more reusable and recyclable options available,” she added.

The declaration of the removal of single-use plastic straws from Countdown stores was first announced in June as part of the chains pledge towards using 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging in their own brands by 2025 or earlier.

“Our single-use plastic carrier bag phase-out has shown us that Kiwi’s are not only ready to adjust how they shop but are already actively doing so. They are also giving us a lot of great feedback about other changes they’d like to see in our stores when it comes to plastic. We’re continuing to look at where we can make changes in our own brands and are also working with our supplies to see here changes in their packaging may also be possible.”