Customers shopping at New World supermarkets may be asked to pay for each plastic bag they use after October if voters choose the pay scheme in a vote that is centered on reducing pollution.
New World is asking New Zealanders to vote on whether to keep plastic bags free or impose a five or 10 cents charge to each plastic bag a customer uses at checkout.
The supermarket chain said the money would be donated to community and environmental causes including Seacleaners, a non-profit organisation that works to remove rubbish from waterways.
Managing Director of Foodstuffs New Zealand, Steve Anderson, said the vote gives New Zealand to change to move forward in an effort to reduce waste.
"We have been working on a wide variety of environmental initiatives for years now, but the one issue that seems to really energise our customers is the topic of plastic shopping bags," Mr Anderson said in a statement this afternoon.
"We believe the best way forward is to work with our customers and ask them what they want for the future.
"The majority decision in BAGVOTE will rule – but regardless of the outcome, we’ll continue to work on reducing plastic bag use, providing more reusable bag options and increasing soft plastics recycling."
As of midday today, those wanting to vote can go to www.bagvote.co.nz to have their say.