The Green Party has launched a campaign to create a plastic-bag free New Zealand and is calling on the Government to legislate to phase plastic bags out.
Green Party waste spokesperson Denise Roche is leading the charge and is canvassing the country for support from consumers and retailers.
“Thousands of New Zealanders already choose a reusable bag rather than plastic when they’re at the supermarket or shops – it’s time for John Key and the Government to get with the programme and show some leadership on this issue,” said Green Party waste spokesperson Denis Roche.
“There is a global movement to stop using plastic bags and we are lagging behind.
“If we want to keep our clean, green reputation, we need to join Ireland, Bangladesh and Rwanda, as well as various states in Australia and the US, and phase them out.
“These bags, which are extremely difficult to dispose of, cause irreparable damage to our seas and wildlife.
“Anyone who’s seen a photo of a dead whale or dolphin that’s ingested a plastic bag will know how destructive they are.
“Plastic bags also produce thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions a year, contributing to climate change.
“We want the Government to declare plastic bags a priority product under the Waste Minimisation Act 2005 so that we can restrict and ultimately phase out their use.
“New Zealanders are already showing their dislike of plastic bags and preference for reusable – now we need John Key and the Government to follow suit,” said Ms Roche.