Local Government New Zealand congratulates supermarket chains Progressive Enterprises and Foodstuffs for their decisive action on single use plastic bags.
Both chains have now committing to phasing them out altogether by 2019.
However a compulsory levy would help accelerate their demise, LGNZ says.
LGNZ President Dave Cull says it is excellent to see the industry moving in the right direction and the levy the mayors called for in July would ultimately phase out all single use plastic bags.
“It’s not just supermarkets that use plastic bags and we think a compulsory levy would help consign them to history,” Mr Cull says.
“This is not just about the bags themselves, it’s also about the behaviour of us all as consumers. When it comes to waste reduction, we all need to think more about what we use and its impact once we’re finished with it.”
Mr Cull says councils and communities are responsible for dealing with waste in responsible and sustainable ways.
“There is no downside to eliminating single use plastic bags from the waste stream, we just need to adapt and adopt some simple solutions. There are plenty of international examples where life without plastic shopping bags has continued without drama. It’s time we followed suit.”
These developments follow a June 2017 letter to Associate Minister for the Environment Hon Scott Simpson calling for the Government to introduce a levy on single use plastic bags which was signed by 65 mayors and chairs from across New Zealand, and a 2015 remit supported by 89 per cent of councils.