Plastic bag phase-out supported
Council has voiced its support for a government proposal to enforce a phase-out of single use plastic bags from New Zealand retail stores.
“There’s no doubt that plastics cause considerable harm to our environment, clogging our drains, choking marine life and leaching toxic chemicals into the soil,” Ka¯ piti mayor K Gurunathan said.
“The ban will reduce the consumption, disposal and environmental burden of plastics, and is an important step towards minimising plastic waste in New Zealand.”
He said council’s submission, which responds to Government calls for feedback on the proposal, also made some recommendations about how to help consumers and retailers with the transition to reusable bags. “While we support the phase-out, we also recognise that people have become somewhat reliant on single use plastics for many types of packaging.
“Our submission supported the option for a six month phaseout period, to allow time to adapt, and also encouraged the Government to undertake research into the potential challenges for consumers and retailers making the transition.
“We recommended that the government look at whether the cost of reusable packaging could be a barrier, and urged them to provide consumers with more information on the different alternatives available.”
Mr Gurunathan said the people of Ka¯ piti have a strong connection with the natural environment and want to keep their parks, beaches, sanctuaries and waterways free from pollution. “Waste minimisation is a priority for the council, and we’re proud to support a future free of single-use plastic bags.”