Tomatoes packaged in plastic.
Research report
2 October 2019

How green are New Zealand's supermarkets?

What supermarkets are doing to green up their act.

Member comments

Get access to comment

Shireen S.
22 Apr 2021
Perhaps time to update this report?

Although we’ve had the onset of Covid-19, it would be great to see this report from Nov 2019 updated this year (2021). Thanks for all your hard work.

A duopoly means neither Foodstuffs nor Woolworths need to really do any better! That’s such a shame.

Lorna E S.
02 May 2021
Couldn't agree more

Yes please, let's see how much progress the supermarkets have made.

There are ways to wriggle out of the grasp of the supers though. I find shopping at Bin Inn for staples has reduced the amount of plastic packaging I have to deal with. They give you a five percent discount if you bring your own containers and you can buy exactly the quantities you need.

For produce, we are exceptionally lucky to be able to grow so much food in our own gardens and shop in farmers' markets for the rest.

Susan D.
22 Apr 2021
Out of date!

Would be good to have current information on how our supermarkets are doing, this is from 2019. According to this article Countdown aims to have zero food waste going to landfill by 2020 and as its now 2021 it would be good to know if they’ve succeeded?

Helen D.
11 Nov 2019
Banning straws and cotton buds is not going to cut it!

Every day more and more products appear on supermarket shelves in unnecessary plastic packaging, especially in the produce section. Items that used to be packaged in cardboard eg lightbulbs, are now in plastic. Supermarkets truck goods around on pallets wrapped in yards and yards of plastic shrinkwrap. They import fish from Vietnam and sell NZ salmon sent overseas for packaging and then sent back. I could go on. There's nothing green or sustainable about any of this.

john c.
10 Nov 2019
Produce sourcing

A big problem is the way supermarkets centralise their purchasing of produce. For example, we live near Kakanui and see produce grown here trucked up to Christchurch to be distributed around the South Island, including back to Oamaru. Dopey. In an Oamaru supermarket I can buy tomatoes "proudly grown" in Nelson. I can also buy them from the glasshouse around the corner.

Christine B.
09 Nov 2019
Palm oil

What does mass balanced mean . I really dislike how new world package bakery items unnecessarily especially putting items on hard trays that are fine in just a bag -croissants for example.

Consumer staff
11 Nov 2019
Re: Palm oil

Hi Christine,

Mass balance means that certified sustainable palm oil has been mixed with non-certified palm oil at some point in the supply chain. The result is that a part of the end product is untraceable and its sustainability can’t be guaranteed.

Kind regards,

Natalie - Consumer NZ staff

Judith C.
09 Nov 2019
Stickers

Please ask them all to remove those annoying stickers from all fruit and vegetables, not only are they unnecessary plastic waste, they are a massive choke hazard!