NZ Government proposes ban on single-use plastic bags
The Government is encouraging Kiwis to let them know their thoughts on the proposed mandatory phase out, with submissions for comment closing on Friday, 14th September.
“Plastic bags have become integrated in our everyday lives,” said the Government in a statement, “but there are now alternatives, and countries, states and cities around the world are phasing them out.
“We all have a role to play to create a future without waste.”
Retail trade association Retail NZ notes the proposal is a “positive step”.
“Retail NZ has been calling for Government leadership on this issue for some time now, and it is good news that the Government is stepping up to help retailers tackle the issue of reducing plastic waste,” said Retail NZ general manager for public affairs Greg Harford.
“Retailers want to do the right thing, and across the sector, many large and smaller retailers have taken significant steps over recent months to reduce or eliminate the number of single-use plastic carrier bags in circulation.
Harford adds that the Government’s proposals will lock in these steps, while ensuring that a level playing field is kept available for every business in the retail sector.
Customer views on plastic bags have changed rapidly, and Kiwis have reacted positively to steps taken by businesses who have already made the jump themselves, and demonstrated they are concerned for the country’s marine environment, according to Harford.
“There is a lot of confusion in the market about the value of so-called ‘biodegradable’ and ‘compostable bags’. Including these in the Government’s proposals is a signal that they may not stack up, given that we do not yet have the proper infrastructure to process these kinds of bags effectively in New Zealand at any kind of scale,” said Harford, adding that Retail NZ encourages all retailers to take part in the consultation process to provide feedback to the Government.