Countdown was the first supermarket in New Zealand to announce it would phase out single-use plastic carrier bags at checkout and online shopping nationwide by the end of 2018.

While there had been conversations for some time about the issue of single-use plastic bags, Countdown saw the opportunity to take immediate action and lead the charge.

The campaign needed to prepare customers for the eventual phase out of single-use plastic bags. It had to help them establish new shopping behaviours.

Countdown launched the announcement via media releases, social media, influencers, video and direct emails to customers. More than 3.6 million people were reached in the two days following the announcement. It became Countdown’s most viewed and engaged Facebook post, reaching more than 540,000 people.

Effectively communicating the announcement has already led to a substantial reduction in plastic bag use by customers. It has also catalysed other major retailers to announce the phase out of single-use plastic bags.