Countdown to ban plastic bags by end of 2018by RNZ
The supermarket chain's managing director Dave Chambers said customer research found 83 percent support for phasing out plastic carrier bags.
Mr Chambers said the ban would result in 350 million fewer plastic bags ending up in rubbish tips.
"Now is the right time to take the lead, phase out single-use plastic carrier bags and introduce better options for customers."
The company looked at charging for bags but decided it wasn't the right option for customers or the environment, he said.
SuperValue and FreshChoice and the parent company Progressive Enterprises have also committed to phasing out single-use bags but have not decided on a deadline.
Mr Chambers said customers had adapted well to the company's first plastic free supermarket, on Waiheke Island, which started in May last year.
Greenpeace praised the company for its "bold move".
Greenpeace campaigner Elena Di Palma said it made them the "leader of the pack on plastic reduction".
The environmental group called on Foodstuffs New World to also eliminate single-use bags.
"Banning the bag is the only answer that deals with the terrible impact of plastic pollution on our oceans and sea life," said Di Palma.
"We are now calling on the new government to step in and regulate to completely stamp out single-use plastic bags."
As odd as it sounds, China’s economic policy is being held hostage by its heavily skewed sex ratio.Read more
A new literary biography takes the measure of poet Allen Curnow, whose work helped define New Zealand’s voice.Read more
As a reality-TV show full of dramatic challenges, this new Labour-led Government has a lot going for it.Read more
Your guide to what's on now and later in AucklandRead more
Expect some questions about how NZ forms governments, an angry National in Opposition and curiosity about political odd couple Ardern and Peters.Read more
Mr English, flanked by his wife and senior party colleagues, appeared emotional towards the end of a short press conference accepting the decision.Read more