Countdown will stop using plastic bags

From the end of this year, Countdown supermarkets will no longer have single-use plastic bags available for your groceries. Countdown is owned the Australian company Progressive Enterprises which also owns Supervalue and Fresh Choice. All three supermarket chains will not have these bags available for customers who instead will need to bring their own bags or buy a re-usable one for $1. The company said that they asked their customers and 83% replied that it was time to ban plastic bags.

Waiheke Island in the Auckland harbour banned plastic bags from May last year. Customers can pay 15 cents for a bag which can be composted.

Meanwhile, the other supermarket company in New Zealand, Foodstuffs, which owns New World, Pak’nSave and FourSquare have different policies. Pak’nSave charges 5 cents for a plastic bag. New World is asking their customers what they want and at the moment, has made no decision.

What’s the problem with plastic bags? Fossil fuels are used to produce them and they are an environmental problem. Unlike paper bags, they do not degrade. They blow in the wind and can easily blow into rivers and then into the ocean where they can suffocate large animals like turtles.

Supermarkets in many other countries have now banned plastic bags. It’s time for New Zealand to make this change.


    compost (v, n) – materials which degrade or break down to become fertiliser for plant food
    fossil fuels (n) – e.g. oil
    degrade (v) – break down easily so they can become compost
    suffocate (v) – unable to breathe

One Comments

  1. Wonderful!

    I would like to find out some common English phrases listed as well as vocabulary. Thank you for your recording.

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