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Packaging Accord encourages plastic bag reduction

21 February 2005

Statement from the New Zealand Packaging Accord 2004 Governing Board

Packaging Accord encourages plastic bag reduction

Progressive Enterprises and The Warehouse are leading the way with initiatives to encourage customers to cut down on plastic shopping bags and use reusable bags says Tony Nowell, Packaging Accord Governing Board Chair, Food and Grocery Council Chair and Griffins Managing Director.

Both companies are members of the voluntary Packaging Accord 2004 and have committed to do what they can to reduce, recover, recycle and investigate alternative markets for packaging waste. This includes reducing the unnecessary use of plastic shopping bags and providing reusable bag alternatives.

As part of Progressive Enterprises’ recent Celebrate New Zealand week customers shopping at Foodtown, Woolworths and Countdown supermarkets were offered two-for-one when purchasing a reusable eco or calico bag. This is in addition to Progressive’s ongoing Pack 7 campaign, which encourages checkout operators to pack more items into each shopping bag – saving around 350,000 bags per week.

The Warehouse offers a 20 cent per-transaction discount for customers using the Warehouse’s own reusable cloth bag. This is supported by in-store and advertising material encouraging shoppers to “Say No to Plastic Shopping Bags”.

“Consumers have a choice and are thinking through disposal options prior to purchase. These retailers have responded to the growing demand from their shoppers to keep New Zealand clean and green,” said Mr Nowell.

“I look forward to more positive initiatives by Packaging Accord members to encourage the public to cut down on packaging waste” he said.

Background information

- The Packaging Accord was launched in August 2004 the objective being to improve the sustainability of packaging used in New Zealand both locally manufactured and imported. Accord members have agreed to consider the full lifecycle of packaging – from initial need and design to what happens when the packaging is no longer required by the consumer.

- Packaging Accord members include: organisations from key packaging sectors involved in steel, paper, plastics, aluminium and glass, as well as brand owners and retailers, the Packaging Council of New Zealand itself, the Recycling Operators of New Zealand, Local Government New Zealand and the Ministry for the Environment.

- Through the Accord, action plans have been developed outlining how each sector will reduce packaging waste. The Brand Owners and Retailers Sector Action Plan includes a commitment to establish reduction targets for the use of plastic shopping bags by a minimum 20 percent by 2008 with all companies contributing. Additional commitments include providing reusable alternatives, promoting supportive consumer behaviour, and quantifying the use of plastic shopping bags for annual reporting through the Packaging Council of New Zealand.


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