The New Zealand government will phase-out single-use plastic bags following a consultation where 92 percent of Kiwis supported the ban. Using 750 million plastic shopping bags – 154 per person – each year, New Zealanders are responsible for one of the highest levels of urban waste in the developed world. The nation’s government took initial steps in August to combat this, promising to ban single-use plastic bags and threatening $100,000 fines for non-compliant business. Now, the government has announced hopes to bring a phase-out into effect on 1st July 2019. In an interview with Stuff NZ, Eugenie Sage, the Associate Environment Minister, said she is “really pleased that the government has decided to phase out single-use plastic bags.” The minister believes that a government-led ban is the most effective way to reduce waste. All single-use bags less than 70 microns thick, including supermarket bags and compostable bags, will be banned; bags intended for fish and meat will not be affected by the phase-out. The announcement of the phase-out follows a five-week consultation where 92 percent of nearly 10,000 submitters favoured the ban. According to Nick Morrison, co-founder of Bags Not, a nonprofit aimed at combatting plastic bag use, the […]

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