Whanganui's Countdown Victoria Ave is one of 10 supermarkets leading the way with the removal of single-use plastic carrier bags.
Ten Countdown supermarkets around New Zealand will stop providing plastic bags from May 21 and all 182 supermarkets will remove them before the end of this year, Kiri Hannifin, Countdown's general manager corporate affairs, said.
"These 10 supermarkets are just the start but they're of huge importance to test what's been in planning over the past months," Hannifin said.
"Moving away from 350 million plastic bags takes a fair bit of work behind the scenes and by our team in our stores; these first stores will test our thinking, our training and our processes to ultimately help ensure a smooth transition for all of our customers and team when we make the change across the country.
"We've all seen the pictures of our environment and marine life suffering because of plastic pollution and the impact on our ecosystems is unacceptable. The debate is over on why we are doing this and now it's time to get moving."
Countdown said that since last year's announcement that single-use plastic carrier bags would be phased out, customers had already reduced their use of plastic bags by more than 16 per cent.
"We're really heartened so many of our customers are already really committed to using less plastic when they shop with us," Hannifin said.
"However, we know the biggest barrier to change is to get into a new habit of bringing your own bags."
Hannifin said staff were talking to customers in the 10 stores to help them make the transition from plastic bags.