Greens Ban the Bag policy needs to happen sooner

Press release - August 27, 2017
Greenpeace is welcoming the Green Party’s commitment to ban single-use plastic bags.

The Greens say they’d make it happen in the first three years of Government.

“It’s a great first move on the way to eliminating single-use plastics,” says Greenpeace campaigner Steve Abel.  “But we’d like to see it happen much sooner.”

“Three years is a long time for marine animals to wait. Grocery bags are some of the worst offenders in the cocktail of plastics killing life in our waters”.

This is an issue which New Zealanders care about dearly. Greenpeace wants the ban on bags to happen within 100 days of any new government.  

“We are calling on all political parties vying for government to support a ban the bag position as a first step towards eliminating single-use plastics which pollute our oceans. Things like plastic bottles, straws, cutlery and bags kill sea-life like turtles, dolphins and seabirds. They break down into tiny pieces get eaten by fish and end up in our food.”  

Turtle expert Dr Dan Godoy from Massey University has found that one in three of the animals washed up on New Zealand shores have stomachs full of plastic.

Abel says the Greens are also proposing strategies for tackling the wider problem of plastic pollution and that is great to see.

In just a few weeks more than 27,000 New Zealanders have signed a petition calling for an immediate ban on single-use plastic bags.

Two Australian supermarkets, Woolworths - a parent company of Countdown - and Coles, have pledged to stop giving single-use plastic bags to shoppers within the next year.