1 Sep 2009

Shopper revolt overturns plastic bag charge

5:56 pm on 1 September 2009

Complaints from Wellington shoppers have forced Foodstuffs to stop charging five cents for plastic supermarket bags in the region, less than a month after the levy was introduced.

The five cent levy cut plastic bag use by half, Foodstuffs Wellington managing director Tony McNeil says, but customers at New World and Four Square supermarkets in the Wellington region didn't like the charge, so from now on the it will be voluntary.

Wanaka Wastebusters spokesperson Sue Coutts can't understand the move, as she says the scheme has been successful in getting people to consider whether they need a plastic bag.

"I'm surprised that five cents has actually made a difference to people. We don't even have a five cent coin any more and people are complaining about having to pay it."

The supermarket chain says its policy for other regions is to continue charging five cents a bag.