Single-use plastic bags to be phased out over the next year, Government announces

Single-use plastic bags are to be phased out, in an attempt to help New Zealand live up to its clean, green image. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced the move to phase out the bags over the next year, with a six month phase-out period proposed. 

The move comes after a petition with 65,000 signatures called for a ban on the single-use bags.

Single use plastic bags (file picture).
Single use plastic bags (file picture). Source:

"We use hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bags, many of which end up polluting our precious coastal and marine environments and cause serious harm to all kinds of marine life, and all of this when there are viable alternatives for consumers and business," Ms Ardern said. 

She said it was "important we take the time now to get this right" so Kiwis could adjust shopping habits. 

Ms Sage was confident New Zealand would embrace the change, with the Government working alongside retailers to help with the transition.

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

"New Zealanders are proud of our country’s clean, green reputation and we want to help ensure we live up to it. Phasing out single-use plastic bags helps do that."

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

The public are able to give their views on the change until September 14, which includes options when the complete phase-out date should be and retailers that should be exempt. 

The Prime Minister made the announcement today in Auckland to phase out plastic bags over the next year. Source: 1 NEWS