New Zealand to ban single-use plastic bags

Veges wrapped and ready to

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the news this week, joining a growing list of countries taking action on the issue.

Countdown was the first New Zealand supermarket to commit to phasing out single-use plastic bags by the end of 2018, in October previous year.

Greenpeace is celebrating the Government's announcement on single use plastic bags as "a win for people power and the first big step towards addressing marine plastic pollution".

"We're phasing out single-use plastic bags so we can better look after our environment and safeguard New Zealand's clean, green reputation", said Arden.

"We've given away millions of bags and we'll continue to encourage Kiwis to get creative and hunt high and low in their homes, garages and garden sheds to find bags or containers they can clean up and re-purpose for their groceries", Anderson said.

Starting next year, New Zealand is set to ban single-use plastic bags!

The proposal will be open for public consultation until 14 September 2018 and will include options for the date the phase-out is to be complete by, what bags should be included, any retailers that should be exempted.

"It's great that many people are already changing the way they shop".

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"Getting rid of the bags is an even better result than we could have hoped for a year later and I'm delighted the new government has listened to what New Zealanders want", the Mayor says.

"Without government intervention it would have taken far too long for us to say goodbye to bags".

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

Last year, the Wellington City Council was a driving force behind a nationwide campaign that saw 90 percent of the country's mayors come on board a campaign asking the then National-led government to impose a point-of-sale levy on single-use plastic bags.

"New Zealanders chew through about 1.6 billion single-use bags every year".

The group said it would begin to offer a range of pay-for plastic-free reusable bags.

"That support will not stop with the end of single-use plastic checkout bags, instead we'll introduce new ways for our customers to support their local communities when they visit our stores and announce details of that plan in due course".

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

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