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Conservation Minister signals ban on single-use plastic bags

Conservation and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage has signalled a ban on single use plastic bags is imminent.

“We are very close to making some announcements on single-use plastic bags and about phasing them out, so there will be a consultation document coming out in the near future," she told TVNZ 1's Q+A.

Ms Sage said officials are investigating a hike in the $10 per tonne waste disposal levy charged by the Government to dump waste at landfills and whether it should be expanded to cover more landfills.

“The $140 a tonne is something that local government, New Zealand and councils have called for,” she said.

“I haven’t made any statements on what level the levy should be set at.

“There’s policy work being done, and I do have to consult with colleagues on that, but certainly we have over 340 landfills in New Zealand, and the levy only applies to 10 per cent of those, so there’s a lot of stuff going to a lot of landfills where the levy doesn’t apply.”

The Minister expects to receive advice on changes to the levy in the next few months.

When asked about implementing the “no new mines on conservation land” policy, she told presenter Corin Dann that the decision will go to Cabinet.

Corin Dann with this extended interview with the Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage. Source: Q+A

“I think we will continue to see mining on the Coast because a lot of the mining that happens in New Zealand is actually on private land or some on Maori land on the West Coast. Mining on the West Coast has a strong future.”

The Government's waste levy charge could be increased, and a plastic bag ban is being considered. Source: 1 NEWS