Report shows public support for Government action on plastic bags

The Green Party is calling on the Government to develop a plan for reducing plastic bag use following a report out today from the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) that shows public support for adding plastic bags to their list of priority products.

The Green Party is calling on the Government to develop a plan for reducing plastic bag use following a report out today from the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) that shows public support for adding plastic bags to their list of priority products.

The MfE report Priority waste streams for product stewardship intervention: A Summary of Submissions says that plastic and plastic bags were the most frequently mentioned additional priority waste streams New Zealanders want them to deal with.

“The Government should listen to New Zealanders who want to stop the environmental damage caused by plastic bags by making it a priority waste product,” said Green Party waste spokesperson Denise Roche.

“The Greens have been calling on the Minister for the Environment to make plastic bags a priority product so that we can restrict, and ultimately phase out, their use. Clearly there is public support for that position.

“Plastic bags are one threat to our environment we can actually eliminate, but we need Government leadership.

“National has not made a single product a priority for waste minimisation in the seven years they have been in Government. Plastic bags should be their first.

“National is very good at consulting and talking about waste minimisation, but have done absolutely nothing to actually reduce waste. They did the same type of consultation in 2009 and nothing came out of it.

“New Zealanders are phasing out plastic bag use in their own lives but if we want to eliminate plastic bag use all together, like 30 other countries have done, the Government needs to act too.

“Single use plastic bags are a threat to our marine life and make up 8245-11050 tonnes of carbon emissions each year. It would be a very good thing to eliminate them.”

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