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Saturday, July 20, 2024

NZ bans plastic produce bags from July 1

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Wellington: New Zealand’s major supermarkets have been preparing for the second phase of the national plastics ban starting from Saturday, which will see the phase-out of more single-use plastics.

The second round will ban plastic produce bags and stickers, plates, bowls, cutlery, and straws, according to the Ministry for Environment’s website released on Friday.

Those plastics will be taken off the shelves from Saturday, with businesses to be possibly fined up to 100,000 NZ dollars (60,853 U.S. dollars) if they do not comply.

This round of the national ban targets single-use and hard-to-recycle items, which was expected to stop 150 million produce bags from ending up in landfills each year, according to the Ministry for Environment.

Last October, single-use plastic cotton buds, drink stirrers and most plastic meat trays were banned from sale or manufacture in the first phase-out.

“Stopping the sale of these plastic products will reduce waste to landfill, improve our recycling systems and encourage reusable or environmentally responsible alternatives,” Environment Minister David Parker said last September.

On average, every year each New Zealander sends about 750 kg of waste to landfill. Some products can’t be recycled and are unnecessary, Parker said.

Other PVC and polystyrene food and beverage packaging will be banned from mid-2025, according to the three-year phase-out plan.

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