2019 has dawned and so has a new era in supermarkets across New Zealand. All single-use plastic bags are now banned. Countdown supermarkets stopped providing the single-use bags in October 2018. Foodstuffs’ New World, Pak ‘n Save, and Four Square joined them on the 1st January 2019. The supermarkets are ahead of schedule with a government ban not due until July 2019.
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of urban waste with 750 million plastic bags used each year – that’s roughly 154 per person. Whilst supermarkets are only responsible for approximately half of these bags, the government recognized that changes are needed. ”We’re phasing out single-use plastic bags so we can better look after our environment and safeguard New Zealand’s clean, green reputation.” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said.
The reaction from customers following the ban has been somewhat critical with many believing supermarkets are more conscious of their profits rather than the environment.
New Zealand has now joined a club of more than 40 countries that have already banned plastic bags. Here’s hoping that the supermarkets now begin to concentrate on reducing their single-use packaging. Do we really need a bunch of bananas wrapped in plastic?! If you would like other ideas on how to implement recycling at home please visit http://www.recycle.co.nz/index.php