New Zealand to ban plastic shopping bags by next year

The ban will affect'single-use plastic shopping bags

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says, "Here in New Zealand one of the top five items found in coastal litter is single-use plastic bags".

New Zealand First Spokesperson for the Environment Jenny Marcroft welcomes the Government's announcement to phase-out single-use plastic bags.

"We were seeing atrocious results that New Zealanders were becoming increasingly concerned with, from entire hillsides covered in single-use plastic bags dating as far back as the 1970s to researchers finding that around a third of dead turtles in New Zealand had likely ingested supermarket bags". The delivery included an open letter supported by former Prime Minister Helen Clark, actor Sam Neill, environmentalist Dr Jane Goodall, and other leading NGOs.

Momentum is growing on tackling the huge amount of waste caused by single-use plastic bags.

The move comes after a petition with 65,000 signatures called for a ban on the single-use bags.

"With industry already moving away from single-use plastic bags, and with mounting public support for a phase-out it was only a matter of time".

"It think this is an awesome thing", Marr said. "I see what plastic is doing to our world and I've always cared for it".

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The Carpenters Daughter offers recycled brown paper bags and makes her own cloth bags out of fabric scraps.

Steve Anderson, managing director of Foodstuffs NZ, said the Government's plans for a ban would put everyone in retail on the same page.

"It's important we acknowledge that some customers may take a bit more help to get there". Hunter says "that means prohibiting retailers from offering plastic carrier bags unless they're designed for reusability of at least 125 uses, and preventing use of biodegradable and compostable bags to replace plastic bags".

Around the world, governments are implementing comprehensive strategies to end plastic pollution with measures from levies, bottle deposits to banning a wide range of single use plastics. "We're going all out to ensure that we have very affordable reusable bag options available in our stores".

The Warehouse is a founding partner of the Soft Plastics Recycling scheme which recycles plastic bags and other soft plastic packaging.

Two of New Zealand's largest supermarkets, Countdown and New World, said previous year that they plan to remove plastic bags from their stores by the end of 2018. But right now New Zealand has no such plan.

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