New World has announced it will be free of single-use plastic bags by the end of next year.

The Foodstuffs supermarket chain had conducted a survey of its customers' preference for bag options and found an overwhelming majority voted 'yes - charge me for bags', but many more also asked for the supermarket to be plastic bag free.

The move comes after competitor Countdown announced last week that single-use plastic bags will be removed from its stores and online shopping by the end of next year.

BagVote results are in! You voted for change. We’re committed to phasing out single-use plastic bags by the end of 2018,...

Posted by New World on Monday, 9 October 2017

Steve Anderson, managing director of Foodstuffs NZ, said New World would be giving away a 2 million long-life reusable bags to customers this summer.


"It's a big task but we are totally committed to change - we always have been," Anderson said in a statement.

"New Zealanders have always been able to make a personal choice to ban plastic bags from their lives and use reusable bags or boxes for their groceries - they just need to change the habit of a lifetime."

On February 1 New World will introduce a 10c voluntary donation per plastic bag, which will go to environmental causes and a 5c rebate for each reusable bag in North Island New World stores will continue.

Anderson said the company is reviewing its approach to plastic packaging, plastic products and looking to minimise waste overall.

Countdown introduced New Zealand's first plastic bag-free supermarket on Waiheke Island in May last year. Customers bring their own bags or buy compostable bags for 15 cents.