New World and Countdown stores will be single-use plastic bag-free by the end of next year – moves that are welcomed by FGC.

A survey by New World showed shoppers don’t want bags, and so the stoies will join Countdown in phasing them out.

New World’s BagVote originally asked customers if they wanted a charge of 10c or 5c, or no charge on single-use plastic bags. The majority asked for a 10c charge, but an overwhelming number of shoppers contacted New World owner Foodstuffs asking for a total ban option.

So, they made the decision to phase them out over the next year.

Last week, Countdown said it would ban single-use plastic bags by the end of 2018. This will apply to all its supermarkets, online shopping, and franchise stores SuperValue and FreshChoice.

Countdown “locked down” its branded reusable bags at $1 from 9 October. Plastic bags will remain at check-outs for the time being, and further initiatives will follow.

New World will give away 2 million reusable bags over summer, based on different promotions such as how much shoppers spend.

On February 1 next year, it will introduce a 10c voluntary donation per plastic bag at New World, which will go to environmental causes such as Sea Cleaners.

FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich said the moves fit with FGC’s encouragement of environmentally sustainable practices among its members who supply both retailers.