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Nationwide Delivery or Pick up free over $50

A good move for New Zealand

We've stopped using single-use plastic carrier bags at all Countdown checkouts and in our online shopping service, which means that 350 million of these plastic bags will no longer find their way to landfill, or worse, to our waterways and oceans.

What does this mean for you?

Online orders will now be packed into paper bags.*

We trialled a number of alternatives for online shopping and think paper bags are the best option we currently have available. They’re recyclable, can break down easily in marine environments and you can also return them to our delivery drivers if you’d like us to recycle them for you.

If you do come in-store to shop we’d love it if you brought your own bags - but if you forget, don’t worry. We’ve got plenty of options available at checkout.

*Excluding online orders from Countdown Waiheke


Frequently Asked Questions



Countdown was the first supermarket in New Zealand to become single-use plastic carrier bag free on 15 October 2018. This will remove around 350 million plastic bags from circulation each year.

Our online customers had been telling us for a while that they wanted us to minimise plastic in their online shop with us and we are pleased to be able to start by removing the carrier bags.


We’ve tested these bags in both the chiller and freezer and they worked well under these conditions.


You can reuse the paper bags if you wish. The bags can also be recycled with your kerbside recycling or returned to our delivery drivers to recycle for you.

We pack each online order into new paper bags.


We’re not currently charging for paper bags as we’re assessing how paper bags work for this part of our business. However, this may change as we continue to trial alternatives and improve our service.


One of the main issues with plastic is the impact plastic pollution has on our marine environment. While paper isn't perfect, we think it's less harmful to our oceans and waterways than anything else we currently have available as it easily breaks down.

The paper bags we are using are 100% recyclable.

As alternative, sustainable products are developed we will consider introducing them in to our stores and online service, but at this stage paper is the best option available.


We have sourced paper bags that are FSC certified and are working to roll these out to all stores nationwide.


For food safety reasons items such as meat, fruit and cleaning products may need to be packed in a small plastic barrier bag. Barrier bags help to reduce the spread of bacteria, minimise potential spills and serve to separate potentially toxic items from food.

We are looking at whether we can find an alternative that could do the same job.


If you purchase a $1 Bag for Good at the same time as your order (or any other reusable bags we sell), we can pack your online order into this, however we cannot re-use these bags so you’d need to re-purchase bags with your next order.


We’ve taken a look at a range of options like banana boxes, crates, swap-a-bags and compostable bags but at this stage we think reusable bags are the best option for our checkouts and paper bags are the best option currently available for online.


While we think paper bags are currently the best option for online, we still believe reusable bags are the best option for our in store customers’ groceries and we want to help our customers get into the habit of reusing bags.

To find out more about our commitment to phasing out single-use plastic carrier bags, click here.