New Zealand Announces Plan to Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags
New Zealand has become the latest country to ban single-use plastic bags in an effort to tackle plastic pollution.
On Friday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced plans to phase out single-use plastic bags over the next year in order to âlook after our environment and safeguard New Zealandâs clean, green reputation,â the New Zealand Herald reports.
âEvery year in New Zealand we use hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bags â" a mountain of bags, many of which end up polluting our precious coastal and marine environments and cause serious harm to all kinds of marine life,â Ardern said. âJust like climate change, weâre taking meaningful steps to reduce plastics pollution so we donât pass this problem to future generations.â
New Zealand retailers will have six months to stop providing the single-use bags, or face fines of up to NZ $100,000 ($66,000), the Guardian reports.
Citing a petition signed by 65,000 people, Ardern said eliminating plastic pollution was in line with public opinion.
âItâs also the biggest single subject schoolchildren write to me about,â she said.
Read More: See How Many LEGO Skyscrapers You Could Build With a Yearâs Worth of Ocean Plastic Waste
New Zealand is one of the highest producers of urban waste per capita in the developed world, according to figures from the World Bank.
Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in the oceans, according to a 2015 study, and that figure could increase by te n-fold over the next 10 years if action is not taken. Some studies predict that by 2050, the worldâs oceans will be filled with more plastic mass than fish mass.
According to the U.N., New Zealand joins more than 60 countries that have introduced bans and levies on single-use plastics, including India and the United Kingdom.Source: Google News New Zealand | Netizen 24 New Zealand