Plastic far from fantastic
Mayoral candidate Phil Goff says if he becomes mayor he wants to make Auckland shoppers pay for using supermarket plastic bags.
He said last year the United Kingdom introduced an equivalent 10 cent charge on all plastic bags used in supermarkets, with exceptions for some goods such as meat, fish and vegetables.
‘‘The result was an 85 percent reduction in plastic bag use. This is replicated in cities around the world which have taken this action. We need to do the same,’’ he said.
‘‘Aucklanders use hundreds of millions of plastic bags each year. They are used on average for 12 minutes before they enter the waste stream as non-biodegradable rubbish.’’
Although charging for plastic bags cannot be introduced through bylaws, Goff said as mayor he will work with MPs to promote change through a Local Bill in Parliament.
‘‘Waiheke Island with its new Countdown supermarket is already leading the way with requiring reusable or compostable bags.’’
Pam Waugh, head of the Salvation Army