Countdown Trafalgar Park customer services manager Christine O’Connell, left, and checkout supervisor Kayla Bovey say customers have embraced the change. Photo: Kate Russell.

No bag battle for Nelson


Nelson shoppers have it in the bag – that’s what one local supermarket is saying.

It’s been exactly two months since Countdown supermarkets in Nelson axed single-use plastic carrier bags at their checkouts.

Manager of Countdown Trafalgar Park, David Smale, says they couldn’t have asked for a better transition.

“We’ve only had one complaint … which is very positive, we think.”

Customer services manager Christine O’Connell says “Nelson was ready for this”.

She says most customers bring fabric bags, otherwise they are happy to take a box or carry items.

Their 15 cent ’emergency’ plastic bag is the least popular choice.

David says the next step is to remove and reduce plastic and packaging in other departments.

“Across the country we’ve already removed 70 tonnes of plastic from our produce section.”

This includes removing packaging from bananas, which saved 15.8 tonnes of plastic.

“We are looking for alternatives where we can and encouraging our suppliers to work with us.”

Plastic straws were also given the flick on 1 October and instore soft plastic recycling remains well utilised with their 240-litre bin getting emptied four times a day.

FreshChoice Nelson was the first supermarket in the region to make the plastic change in June. New World and Pak ‘n Save say they will be ‘banning the bag’ from January.