Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage has confirmed that single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out in New Zealand with regulations to come into force from 1 July 2019.
New Zealanders are overwhelmingly behind the phase out. Recently, 92 per cent of the more than 9,300 people and organisations who had their say in a public consultation supported a mandatory nationwide phase out.
The regulations will apply to all new plastic shopping bags with handles that are made of plastic up to 70 microns in thickness.
This includes the light-weight plastic bags commonly found at supermarket, takeaway food and other retail checkouts, as well as heavier boutique-style shopping bags and the ‘emergency’ bags currently offered by some supermarkets as an alternative to a free single-use bag.
It will also include bags fitting this description made of degradable plastic (ie. biodegradable, compostable and oxy-degradable) regardless of whether the plastic material is sourced from fossil-fuel, synthetic compounds or from biological sources such as plants.
See the Toolkit For Businesses for guidance for businesses on the ban on single-use plastic shopping bags which began on 1 July 2019.
See alternatives to single-use plastic shopping bags: guidance for business