Mayor congratulates Foodstuffs on new bag charge
17 April 2009
Mayor congratulates Foodstuffs on new plastic bag charge
Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey congratulates Foodstuffs on its announcement of becoming New Zealand's first supermarket group to introduce a five cent charge on its plastic bags.
Mayor Harvey, who is spearheading a campaign to halve the consumption of plastic shopping bags in Waitakere City within five years, says the major retailer is to be commended for its commitment to reducing the environmental impact of plastic bags.
"Plastic bags are increasingly being recognised around the world as an environmental disaster," he says.
"Countries like India, China, Ireland and Australia have already taken major steps to reduce the number of plastic bags they use, in some cases banning them outright, so it's heartening to see some of our largest retailers, like Foodstuffs and The Warehouse, taking the lead in New Zealand.
"The charge for plastic bags will certainly make shoppers think twice and I believe the majority of them will support the environmental reasons for introducing it.
"Foodstuffs' commitment will help enormously to change New Zealanders' attitudes and habits in regard to plastic shopping bag usage and I think that's fantastic."
Last month Mayor Harvey hosted a forum in Waitakere, attended by around 50 retailers, to discuss ways of reducing plastic bag consumption locally. Businesses of all sizes, from retail giants to corner stores, attended the forum and agreed to work together to investigate solutions to the over-use of plastic bags.
Mayor Harvey came away from the forum feeling positive that the time is now right for both residents and businesses to work together to address the issue. This is backed up by a recent survey in Waitakere, New Zealand's first 'eco city', that shows 80% of respondents firmly support his council's plan to work with retailers to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags.