Supermarket seeking return of stolen baskets

Countdown has put out a call for customers to return any green shopping baskets that they have taken home, so that they can be made available for other shoppers.

A consequence of removing single use plastic bags from Countdown supermarkets in Orewa and Silverdale last month has been that some customers who forget to bring reusable bags are taking the green plastic baskets home with them instead.

Two different types of reusable bags are available for purchase at the supermarket, which cost $1 or 15 cents.

A Countdown spokesperson says the company is aware of baskets going missing since the removal of single-use plastic carrier bags.

They would not say whether or not the problem is occurring only at the Hibiscus Coast supermarkets.
However, shoppers and staff at Orewa Countdown say the problem is significant and that there have been days when there have been very few, if any, green baskets left in store since the plastic bag ban came into effect, on August 13.

Staff at Silverdale Countdown, which has also given up single use plastic bags, say they have also had some green baskets stolen, but not in the numbers experienced in Orewa.

A Countdown spokesperson says that having people take the baskets is disappointing, but the supermarket understands that “sometimes change can be tough”.

“We encourage customers to bring back any baskets they have so that we have these available for other shoppers,” the spokesperson says. “The majority of customers are bringing their own reusable bags and we’d love to thank them for being so supportive of our move to rid New Zealand of millions of plastic bags each year.”