NZ Government proposes a ban on all single use plastic bags under 50 micron.
On Friday the NZ Government announced a consultation period of 5 weeks on their proposal to ban all single use plastic shopping bags under a certain thickness, this will include degradable and compostable bags as well.
PNZ encourages and supports initiatives that will reduce litter. We acknowledge that the current lightweight HDPE singlet bags pose an environmental dilemma in that they can end up as litter if not correctly disposed of. They are however recyclable and we would not want see them replaced with bags made from other materials that may not deliver any environmental benefits.
We support the use of heavier gauge plastic bags which are reusable and recyclable, as a viable alternative.
We agree that whatever measures are put in place should include degradable and compostable bags until NZ has developed local infrastructure to handle these materials without contaminating the recycling stream, and further testing is done on their effect on marine life. PNZ are involved with MFE and other working groups to develop guidelines for the use and disposal of these materials.
Plastic in all its various forms has improved all of our lives immeasurably and we want to ensure that our current waste and litter issues do not detract from the positive impact that plastics have made to our environment.
We encourage our members to consider the end of life when designing new products in line with the concept of a circular economy.