Plastic bags ban cause for celebration
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