Plas­tic bags ban cause for cel­e­bra­tion

Waiheke Marketplace - - Front Page - DIANA WOR­THY

For­mer Green list MP Denise Roche is call­ing for plas­tic bot­tles and other pack­ag­ing to be tar­geted fol­low­ing Count­down’s scrap­ping of plas­tic bags.

Roche has been cel­e­brat­ing the news that Pro­gres­sive En­ter­prises, Count­down su­per­mar­kets owner, is ban­ning plas­tic bags from its stores na­tion­wide.

She lives on Wai­heke, which led the way when its new Count­down store banned the bags in April 2016.

Roche cam­paigned, as a Green MP, against sin­gle-use plas­tic bags and was re­spon­si­ble for the party’s Waste Min­imi­sa­tion (Sin­gle-use Plas­tic Bag) Amend­ment Bill, launched In Oc­to­ber 2016.

The bill would have seen a 15 cent charge placed on sin­gle-use plas­tic bags at check-outs, with pro­ceeds raised go­ing to­wards sup­port for non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tions’ waste min­imi­sa­tion pro­jects or ed­u­ca­tion.

Roche started her cam­paign against the bags in 2014, with 28 pub­lic meet­ings across the coun­try.

‘‘In ev­ery sin­gle place, there were or­gan­i­sa­tions and car­ing in­di­vid­u­als com­mit­ted to re­duc­ing the im­pact of disposable plas­tic pack­ag­ing on our en­vi­ron­ment,’’ she said.

She is de­lighted with Count­down’s move.

‘‘I got told about it in a phone call from a woman called Linda Thomp­son, who lives in Pic­ton.

‘‘She was cry­ing with hap­pi­ness. From my point of view, it’s a nice way to end my time in par­lia­ment.’’

Roche said the ban meant the cam­paigns were hav­ing an im­pact on the ma­jor su­per­mar­ket chains, given New World was also look­ing at some way to in­tro­duce a charge on plas­tic bags at the check-out.

She said it was a sig­nif­i­cant step for the en­vi­ron­ment and pro­tec­tion of marine life.

Now she wants to take it fur­ther.

‘‘I al­ways see plas­tic bags as the gate­way drug to to the next item - we could be look­ing at tar­get­ing disposable cof­fee cups, plas­tic bot­tles and ban­ning straws.

‘‘All th­ese things have a big im­pact on our marine en­vi­ron­ment, end­ing up as plas­tic pol­lu­tion.’’

Mean­while, Auck­land Mayor Phil Goff has said he will be meet­ing with MPS to dis­cuss ban­ning plas­tic bags dis­trib­uted by re­tail stores across the re­gion.

Auck­land Coun­cil would be able to in­tro­duce a by­law if MPS work to en­able it through the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act.

‘‘I al­ways see plas­tic bags as the gate­way drug to to the next item.’’ - Denise Roche.

weeds, and ne­ces­si­tate us­ing more poi­sons on the ground. I also know of a rea­son­ably large area that has been cleared of as­para­gus fern man­u­ally, us­ing no tools or chem­i­cals. It is POS­SI­BLE if that is what we want.

I find it bizarre that in our lives pri­or­ity is given to our eco­nomic health and the en­vi­ron­ment gets the leftovers, when the en­vi­ron­ment is re­ally what sus­tains us.

Flynn Wash­ing­ton, Os­tend.

‘‘Bring back the an­nual, kerb­side in­or­ganic rub­bish col­lec­tions to help stop dump­ing in parks.’’ Wai­heke Mar­ket­place

Denise Roche would like to see sin­gle-use plas­tic bags scrapped from all re­tail out­lets. DIANA WOR­THY/STUFF

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