Strong de­mand for plas­tic bag levy

Central Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - GED CANN

May­ors from across New Zealand have com­bined their voices to de­mand a plas­tic bag levy.

More than 90 per cent of New Zealand city and district may­ors signed an open let­ter, call­ing on cen­tral gov­ern­ment to im­pose a plas­tic bag levy, or set aside and let them take up the reins.

On Mon­day Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment New Zealand (LGNZ) sent the let­ter to As­so­ciate En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Scott Simp­son.

The let­ter fol­lows rev­e­la­tions that a third of tur­tles and seabirds that washed up on New Zealand’s shores had plas­tic in their stom­achs.

Signed by 65 may­ors and coun­cil chair­men and chair­women, the let­ter builds on a pre­vi­ous show of sup­port from a 2015 LGNZ Con­fer­ence, when 89 per cent of coun­cils sup­ported a levy.

‘‘The ex­pe­ri­ence of those in lo­cal gov­ern­ment is that plas­tic bags make a con­sid­er­able im­pact on lo­cal en­vi­ron­ments and com­mu­ni­ties bear the en­vi­ron­men­tal and fi­nan­cial bur­den,’’ an LGNZ spokesman said.

She said in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence had shown levies were ef­fec­tive in Den­mark, Ire­land and China, where they re­sulted in a dra­matic re­duc­tion in plas­tic bag use.

The let­ter was launched in June by Welling­ton Mayor Justin Lester, and sup­ported by Auck­land Mayor Phil Goff and Dunedin’s Dave Cull.

KEVIN STENT/STUFF

Plas­tic bags of­ten blow out of land­fill and need to be rec­ol­lected.

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