Foodstuffs says not likely NZ will see same backlash to plastic bag ban as Australia

After the news that Australian supermarkets are facing a backlash against a ban on plastic bags that saw a customer in Western Australia reportedly grab a shop assistant by the throat on the weekend, Foodstuffs NZ say the same reaction isn't likely in New Zealand.

Antoinette Laird from Foodstuffs NZ outlined some of the reasons Kiwis might be more accepting of the plastic bag ban.

"Firstly, we asked our customers what they wanted to do – and we've responded to that. In fact, we've gone further and we’ll be out of single use plastic bags in all New World, PAK'nSAVE and Four Square stores by the end of this year.

"Since Bag Vote, New World has given away in excess of 2 million long life reusable bags to help customers get into better habits and we've supported the nationwide and online campaign which is designed to help people transition.

"We’re trialling alternatives for people caught short without their reusable bags in selected New World, PAK'nSAVE and Four Square stores, which have been met with great enthusiasm from our customers," Ms Laird said in a statement today.

She went on to say that PAK'nSAVE customers have already had a head start in the transition.

"We've always charged for plastic bags in PAK'nSAVE so our customers are already most of the way there – they are used to using their own bags, boxes and the boot of their car to save money (and the planet).

"Having started the conversation in the first place we’re delighted that so many other retailers have now jumped on board – which makes the transition for customers out of single use plastic bags at the checkout even easier."

The statement concluded that "New Zealanders are ready for the change, but we think we’re doing everything we can to get everyone sorted."

Countdown started withdrawing single-use plastic bags from May, beginning with 10 of its stores, RNZ reports.

The EU is considering banning single use plastic bags, as well as things like cotton buds, drink stirrers and takeaway containers Source: Breakfast