Plastic bag charge proposed
Do you take your own bags to the supermarket check-in?
And would you take a different approach if you had to pay - even a small amount - for each of those plastic bags, with just a few items in each, that the shop gives you?
The Greens believe a charge would trigger a huge reduction in the number of one-use plastic bags New Zealanders go through, currently estimated at 1.6 billion a year.
So the party is proposing a 15c levy on all ‘‘single-use’’ plastic bags to cut back the number polluting the environment.
The bill in the name of MP Denise Roche would impose the charge at the checkout, with the proceeds recycled to non-profit or charity organisations working on waste minimisation and education.
Earlier moves for a full ban had failed to get much ‘‘buy-in’’ but a charge had proved effective in lowering the number of plastic bags in other countries.
The draft law was modelled on the UK law which last year imposed a 5 pence levy.
It had been hugely successful, with plastic bag use dropping by 85 per cent in the first six months.
Prime Minister John Key said he did not back a ban, and ‘‘I am not sure in the first instance a tax is the right way to go’’.
‘‘We are certainly encouraging people to be responsible because they are an issue when it somes to landfill.’’