The decision today by Countdown to no longer sell packs of single-use straws has been welcomed by the non-profit marine conservation organisation Our Seas Our Future (OSOF).
Countdown has made the commendable move that will see the removal of up to 11.6 million straws from circulation and the waste stream each year. OSOF is happy with the decision that Countdown has made and feel that this further contributes to Countdown’s continued environmental efforts with respect to single-use plastic. OSOF would like to see all leading supermarket chains continue showing environmental leadership in tackling the issues associated with single-use plastics ending up in our environment.
With up to 11.6 million less plastic straws that end up in our rubbish tips, this can only be seen as a positive. The removal of plastic straws from sale will also potentially reduce the number of plastic straws that enter our oceans, which harm marine animals. This decision is a crucial step for the conservation, protection and benefit of our coastal and marine environments.
OSOF has been campaigning and raising awareness about the issues associated with single-use plastics for a number of years through our Plastic Free New Zealand brand, including the Straw Free September campaign aimed at encouraging businesses, and the general public to pledge stopping single-use straw use for a month, with a goal to adopt the change.
OSOF Trustee, Noel Jhinku says that it is encouraging to see large retailers and businesses taking a lead and setting an example to move away from single-use plastics.
“In general, I think plastic is not inherently bad, it is an amazing invention that has transformed our modern world. However, what is inherently bad is our relationship with plastic, which is taking its toll on our environment. The blame is not on plastic, the blame is on our behaviour.”
“We now know plastic is everywhere, and we are now becoming more aware that a lot of it ends up in our ocean where it breaks down over time into micro-plastics that can make the marine ecosystem sick.”
OSOF will be supportive of other large supermarkets or chains should they choose to follow the leading example set by Countdown.