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New Zealand to ban single-use plastic bags

According to estimates, New Zealand currently uses over 750 million single-use plastic bags per year, which is equivalent to about 150 per person.


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August 15, 2018 by Canadian Plastics

New Zealand has become the latest country to outlaw single-use plastic shopping bags, announcing plans to phase them out over the next year.

In a statement on Aug. 10, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the move a “meaningful step” towards reducing pollution.

New Zealand uses “hundreds of millions” of single-use plastic bags each year, many of which end up harming marine life, Ardern said. “We need to be far smarter in the way we manage waste and this is a good start.”

Retailers will be given 12 months to phase out the bags or face fines of up to US$65,000.

Ardern heads a  coalition government, which includes the Green Party.

According to estimates, New Zealand currently uses over 750 million single-use plastic bags per year, which is equivalent to about 150 per person.

New Zealand joins a long and growing list of nations that have banned single-use plastic bags. Bangladesh was the first country to do so in 2002. China, Israel, South Africa, the Netherlands, Morocco, Kenya, Rwanda, Mauritania, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Albania and Georgia have since implemented similar bans on single-use bags.