20 Jul 2015

Call for more stringent plastic bag rules

8:41 am on 20 July 2015

Local government leaders want a compulsory levy on plastic shopping bags at point of sale.

That is despite the Government rejecting the idea as [http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/279098/finally-plastic-bag-recycling-on-the-way

it launched a plastic recycling scheme at the weekend].

Plastic bags.

Photo: AFP

The Government is helping fund a three-year trial of a recycling service, working with the two major supermarket chains and The Warehouse.

The scheme is aimed particularly at plastic shopping bags, which are currently not accepted in kerbside collections because they can not be recycled in this country.

Local Government New Zealand said its members supported the trial but more needed to be done.

It said imposing a compulsory levy at point of sale would act as a deterrent, reducing the number of single-use plastic bags produced.

Its president, Lawrence Yule, said councils would try and persuade the Government.

"What we're trying to do is minimise the number of plastics bags when there [are] plenty of other alternatives.

"Because most of them don't break down, a lot ot them end up in waterways, a lot of them end up in the sea."

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs