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Mitre 10 to ditch plastic bags and boot liners

10 November 2017

Mitre 10 to ditch plastic bags and boot liners

Mitre 10 has today announced it will remove single-use plastic bags from its network of 81 Mitre 10 and Mitre 10 MEGA stores by the middle of 2018.

At the same time, the country’s largest home improvement and garden retailer will remove plastic boot liners, sometimes used by its garden centre customers to protect their cars from dirt and debris.

The decision follows a review of single-use plastic bags and reflects an increased level of interest from customers on the topic.

Neil Cowie, Mitre 10 CEO, says the company regularly looks at ways to operate more sustainably and started discussions with its owner-operators on plastic bags earlier in the year.

“As a group of locally owned and operated businesses, we want to do our bit for New Zealand and tackling single-use plastic bags is one of those steps we need to take.

“From the outset our store owners were overwhelmingly in support of a move to reduce the environmental impact of plastic bag waste, and all indications show this view is shared by our customers too,” says Mr Cowie.

“Previously, we have trained our checkout operators to ask about a plastic bag and let our customers decide for themselves rather than providing one as a matter of course. We believe that customers are now ready to take the next step and feel the time is right for us to formalise this more environmentally friendly practice of discontinuing single-use plastic bags.”

Customers will have the option to purchase a reusable bag for $1.00 at both Mitre 10 and Mitre 10 MEGA stores, and a non-plastic boot liner alternative will also be introduced in the coming months. There are no plans to introduce an interim charge on plastic bags during the phase out period.

“We will focus on encouraging customers to prepare for the switch themselves rather than imposing an interim charge for plastic bags or boot liners,” says Mr Cowie.

As well as removing single-use plastic bags and boot liners, Mitre 10 is also a member of the Soft Plastics Recycling programme and is working with the operators to expand the number of Mitre 10 stores currently participating in the initiative. The company’s approach to plastic packaging and minimising waste overall is also under review.

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