About Z

Z supports the phase-out of plastic bags in New Zealand

10/08/2018 - Sustainability news

Sheena Thomas

Z supports the government’s plan to phase out single-use plastic shopping bags, and encourages New Zealanders to provide their views on ways to reduce these bags entering the environment.

Z phased out single-use customer plastic bags from its stores in June this year. Z said that customers have been overwhelmingly supportive of Z’s stance in eliminating plastic bags and reducing the number of single-use plastic bags entering the waste stream from 2.5 million per year, to zero.

“We learned a lot through this process,” said Z’s Sustainability Manager, Gerri Ward.

“The key things we learned from our experience was to give it time, and communicate with customers on how to adjust to the new reality.

“Many of our customers have been really enthusiastic about the change, and have agreed that people just need to get used to a new reality – like New Zealanders did with the introduction of compulsory bike helmets, or the ban on smoking inside,” she said.

The Ministry for the Environment has published a consultation document on the proposed mandatory phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, and people have until Friday 14 September to share their views.

This includes options for the date the phase-out is to be complete by, what bags should be included, and how best to help people with the transition.

“We need to think carefully about the impact of replacements. The worst-case scenario would be that we replace what we’ve got with unsubstantiated “biodegradable” or “compostable” imports that are often no less bad for the environment,” said Gerri.

“Have your say and together let’s keep Aotearoa beautiful,” she said.

To have your say visit www.mfe.govt.nz.