LGNZ is delighted by the Associate Minister for the Environment’s announcement today of a six month phase-out period for single-use plastic bags.
“Plastic waste makes a mess of our coastlines, green space and rivers, clogs up our recycling equipment and occupies too much of our landfills,” says LGNZ President Dave Cull.
“Getting action on single-use plastics has been a bit of a crusade for many councils and we know that New Zealanders will back this change, as they have done since the ban was proposed earlier this year.”
A remit from councils passed at the 2015 LGNZ Conference asked for a levy on single-use plastic bags, followed by a letter from 65 mayors and chairs to the Associate Minister for the Environment, calling for further action.
That was followed by another remit in July this year where 95 per cent of LGNZ councils voted to pressure central government to urgently develop and implement a plan to eliminate the use of single-use plastic bags and plastic straws, as well as encouraging LGNZ members to phase out the use of these items at their own council facilities.
“This announcement shows that chipping away at an issue does get results eventually. We acknowledge this ban isn’t going to solve our waste issues overnight, but it’s a good step in the right direction to get people engaged with waste minimisation in general.”