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Jane Goodall Institute delighted to be ‘Counting Down’

6 October 2017

Jane Goodall Institute New Zealand delighted to be ‘Counting Down’ to end of single-use plastic bags in New Zealand

The Jane Goodall Institute New Zealand (JGINZ) has welcomed news that Countdown Supermarkets will phase out single-use plastic carrier bags from its stores and online shopping by the end of 2018.

JGINZ Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Dr Melanie Vivian says the decision is “a fabulous outcome for animals and the environment,” and urges other supermarkets in New Zealand to make the same commitment.

“New Zealanders use around 1.6 billion single-use plastic bags every year—and on average they’re used for less than 12 minutes. These bags are made from non-renewable resources, and many end up in the ocean where they contribute to an estimated 100,000 marine mammal deaths every year.

“There are also huge human health problems. Over time these bags degrade into micro-plastics which are eaten by fish and then enter our food chain. The short-lived convenience these bags provide is too high a price to pay for the damage they do to animals, people and the environment.”

The impact of plastic bags is something the Institute’s founder and namesake, Dr Jane Goodall, has spoken on publicly in the past, highlighting the important role governments and business have to play in addressing the issue.

Speaking at an event in Singapore, Dr Goodall said: “there are plenty of ways we can all reduce plastic on a personal level. But until there is a structural and policy change, the impact will be insignificant.”
As part of its ‘Bye Bye Plastic Bags New Zealand’ campaign, JGINZ started a petition on Charge.org, asking New World Supermarket to add a fourth option—to stop providing single-use plastic bags—to its Bag Vote campaign. The campaign asks shoppers whether they wanted to pay 5 or 10 cents per bag (with proceeds going to a community or environmental cause) or do nothing.

“We’re delighted that Countdown has stepped up and made such a strong commitment to keeping single-use plastic bags out of the environment. This will remove 350 million plastic bags from our environment every year, that’s a significant step in the right-direction,” says Dr Vivian.

“New World is due to announce the results of their Bag Vote campaign on Monday, and we’re hoping it will make the same commitment to protect the environment, and help New Zealand catch up to the many other countries around the world who have banned single-use plastic bags.”

For more information contact Melanie Vivian – Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder on m.vivian@janegoodall.org.nz

The Jane Goodall Institute of New Zealand

The Jane Goodall Institute New Zealand exists to inspire and advance the power of individuals to take informed and compassionate action to help animals, each other and to protect the world we share.

The Jane Goodall Institute is a global non-profit organisation committed to community-centred conservation and focused on inspiring individual action. The organisation’s mission is based on Dr Jane Goodall’s belief that the well-being of our world relies on people taking an active interest in all living things.

The Jane Goodall Institute of New Zealand is one of 27 chapters worldwide.

Bye Bye Plastic Bags & Bye Bye Plastic Bags New Zealand

Bye Bye Plastic Bags (BBPB) is a social initiative driven by youth to get the people to say no to plastic bags. Founders and sisters, Melati (15) and Isabel (13) Wijsen are on a mission to stop plastic bags from suffocating their beautiful island home of Bali.

JGINZ is thrilled to partner with the amazing BBPB crew and be the base for the Bye Bye Plastic Bag New Zealand campaign. The campaign is driven by the Institute’s National Youth Leadership Council who is working to make a difference for the better by getting rid of plastic bags in our country.


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