Ten Countdown supermarkets are set to remove single-use plastic bags from the 21st of May in an effort to phase out the use of the bags completely.
The ten stores selected will provide customer feedback and other learnings that will roll out across all Countdown's 182 supermarkets before the end of 2018.
Kiri Hannifin, Countdown's General Manager Corporate Affairs, says while change is never easy, there's no question that getting rid of 350 million plastic bags every year is the right thing to do.
"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 says that since its announcement to phase out single-use plastic bags last year, customers have reduced their use of plastic bags by 16%.
"We're really heartened so many of our customers are already really committed to using less plastic when they shop with us. However, we know the biggest barrier to change is to get into a new habit of bringing your own bags. We're starting to talk with customers in these first ten stores now and are really looking forward to helping them make the switch as easy as possible," says Kiri Hannifin.
The first ten stores have been selected as they represent a range of store sizes, checkout and bag carousel layouts, cities and smaller towns.
The stores are: