Living in biodegradable world
It’s time to bin the plastic bag and look at the options to reduce waste, as Rexine Hawes reports.
Waikato mayors are split on a proposed single plastic bag levy but people at community level are developing their own way to reduce waste and recycle.
Waikato Environment Centre general manager Sonia Fursdon urged Waikato mayors to sign an open letter to Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson asking for a national levy on single-use plastic bags.
But Matamata-Piako mayor Jan Barnes does not support a ban, instead she would prefer to see the Government introduce biodegradable bags.
‘‘Is this our role (local government)? We can add weight, encourage and educate, but I want Government to look at biodegradable plastic.
‘‘Yes I am all for reducing plastic in our community, let’s get back to wool carpet and back to chipping up tyres.’’
Barnes said there were a raft of options.
‘‘New World is gathering up soft plastic and being responsible, let’s work this way, but ultimately towards biodegradable.
‘‘Let’s ask how are you using the bag and are you being responsible when using it? And that’s education.’’
The issue will be debated at the upcoming Local Government New Zealand AGM. on them. Plastic bags are also made from a finite resource.
There are many places where plastic bags can be recycled but this is only true for 1 per cent, with the rest heading to landfill and the ocean.
‘‘Negative impacts on the environment are significant and eminently worth addressing.’’
New World Matamata checkout operator Bronwyn Keatinge packs Sue Knudsen’s groceries into re-usable grocery bags.