The tax comes in the form of forcing customers to buy re-usable bags.
Countdown has announced its Waiheke Island store will be ridding plastic bags, in a wider effort to help the island become completely plastic bag free.
Instead shoppers will need to bring their own reusable bags or buy ones available in-store from May 23.
Onecard holders who shop regularly at the Waiheke Countdown store will receive vouchers for four free reusable bags, and will also be able to buy reusable bags in-store for a discounted price of $1.
It has been calculated that the profit for Countdown from imposing the tax will net the company around $190,000 pa (15c for each compostable bag x 6 (for a weekly shop) = 90c a week x 52 weeks = $46.80 pa x 4000 customers = $187,200 pa). This is likely to be an underestimate.
Unlike Warehouse, which donates the money they get from sales of their bags to charity, all the money will go straight into Countdown’s piggy bank. Countdown already charges some of the highest prices of any supermarket in the country, leaving the company open to accusations of profiteering and price gouging.
Another tax is easily affordable for rich Greenies like Roche and her cohorts who have relentlessly pursued their plastic bag free agenda, but it will be paid for by the island’s poorest residents. It will also be paid for by the environment.
Ironically, the biggest users of so-called ‘single-use’ plastic bags on Waiheke are the very people who have targeted Countdown to chop theirs. They are Roche and her partner Stansfield and their Green mates, - the people who vociferously opposed the introduction of environmentally sustainable wheelie bins for the island’s rubbish and recycling collection, posting plastic bumper stickers on their cars saying ‘no to wheelie bins’. Every week for years now, they have religiously put their single-use red plastic bags out for collection, alongside their motley collection of plastic supermarket bags full of recyclables. Easily ripped apart by dogs or stuck up in trees they decorate our roadsides every collection day.
A local resident sent me this feedback which has been shared with Countdown:
This is not about removing ‘single-use' plastic bags. It’s about adding further cost and inconvenience to buying groceries from Countdown, with Countdown no doubt clipping the ticket.
Instead of listening to another small but vocal Green Party/Waiheke pressure group why did you not conduct a poll of Onecard holders on your Onecard website?
Why not go the whole hog and rebrand your store as a Pak n’ Save. At least we’d be offered cardboard boxes at no cost and your staff would be freed up from packing?
Have you ever stood in a queue at a checkout and waited while people pack their purchases in their BYO shopping bags? Try it some time!
And who came up with the term ‘single-use’?
Everyone I know will tell you that they have a multitude of uses around the home.
We go to a supermarket for price, range and convenience. We do not go to have our choice dictated by a mob who today got a bit of what they wanted.
Most bioplastic products currently being marketed carry incomplete and/or misleading labeling, according to composting expert William Brinton of Woods End Laboratories, who conducted the testing for MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
The bottom line: Most plastic packaging that claims to be “biodegradable” or “compostable” will only partially break down under the conditions typical of most residential compost piles.
As for me, I will be doing most of my shopping at Four Square in Oneroa, where bringing my own bag is a choice not a directive, or at one of the island’s excellent fresh fruit and vege shops.