April 22, 2024

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New Zealand has banned plastic bags, straws and cutlery

New Zealand has banned plastic bags, straws and cutlery

When he banned thick plastic bags in 2019, the campaign against single-use plastics began. REUTERS/John Nazca

From Saturday, New Zealand will become the first country to ban the thin plastic bags used by supermarket customers to collect their fruit and vegetables.

Also a new ban Extends to straws and plastic cutleryAs the government expands its campaign against single-use plastics It started in 2019 when thick plastic bags were banned Customers will take home their groceries. These days, most customers bring their own reusable bags to stores.

Officials estimate that on average, each New Zealander sends three-quarters of a ton of waste to landfill each year.

“New Zealand produces a lot of waste and a lot of plastic waste,” Deputy Environment Minister Rachel Brooking said.

One of the objectives of this initiative is to reduce plastic waste entering the ocean. REUTERS/Borja Suarez

Brookings said the 2019 bag ban had already prevented more than 1 billion plastic bags from being used in New Zealand, and the new skinny bag ban would reduce a further 150 million bags a year.

Officials are investigating concerns that the latest ban won’t do much for the environment if customers use disposable paper bags to pick out their fruits and vegetables.

“The answer is still yes, it’s still worth doing, but we want to reduce single-use packaging of anything,” Brooking said. “So we want people to bring their own bags, and supermarkets sell reusable produce bags.”

Brooking said emphasis will be given Education of the peopleBut authorities can fine companies that flout the rules.

Another goal of the program is to reduce the amount of litter New Zealanders generate. REUTERS/Brittany Hosea Small

The Countdown supermarket chain has started selling washable and reusable polyester mesh bags.

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Each of these mesh bags has been tested to be reusable 5,000 times, according to Countdown’s director of sustainability, Catherine Langebeer. Countdown is working hard to get customers to use reusable produce bags, she said.

“But we know that change is difficult, and it will take them some time,” Lankabeer said. “We have some angry customers.”

He said other customers are finding creative ways to bring their products home without using plastic.

Critics have questioned the Liberal government’s environmental record, pointing out that the country’s overall greenhouse gas emissions have not decreased since the government symbolically declared a climate emergency in 2020.

(With information from AP)

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