New Zealanders will be farewelling their plastics – bags, ear buds, spoons and straws – as the government attempts to match the country’s reality to its “clean green” reputation. Currently one of the top 10 per-capita producers of landfill waste in the world, New Zealand has announced it will ban a swathe of single-use plastics, including cotton buds, bags, cutlery, plates and bowls, straws and fruit labels. “Every day, New Zealanders throw away an estimated 159g of plastic waste per person, making us some of the highest waste generators in the world,” the environment minister, David Parker, said. The bans, which will be phased in between 2022 and 2025, would “ensure we live up to our clean, green reputation”, he said. Officials estimate that the new policy will remove more than 2bn single-use plastic items from the country’s landfills and environment each year. New Zealand had already banned most single-use plastic bags in 2019, but the changes will include packaging for produce, as well as a range of other items. These steps follow similar bans overseas: outlawing plastic bags is now common around the world, and the UK introduced a ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds in […]

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