28 November 2003
New Zealand uses approximately one billion plastic bags a year. The vast majority of these are imported.
Many blow around forming a proportion of the nation’s litter problem, most end up wasted in landfills.
There is no single miracle that is going slow waste going to landfill. But there are a number of simple steps that we
can all take. Reduction of plastic bag usage is one important step, which several other countries including Australia
and Ireland are taking now.
Let’s take this step now New Zealand.
New Zealand is known for its Clean Green image and such a move will help us keep our word.
A series of reusable bags are on New Zealand’s shores now. One example is the Green Bag, a cheap and practical bag that
can be easily packed with 3-4 bags worth of groceries. These are available from the Green Bag Foundation, http://www.greenbag.co.nz/
Shoppers are encouraged to purchase a bevy of bags (say 5), and take them shopping to be refilled each time. Presently
each New Zealander uses and disposes of between 300-400 plastic bags per year.
“We seek to change this behaviour, as a positive move towards reducing waste to landfill and litter problems, and
generously, the public would be assisting supermarkets to cut overheads which must be substantial.”said Jo Knight,
Manager of the Zero Waste NZ Trust.
A bonus result may be that our grocery bill gets cheaper.
For more information contact: Lucy White, Zero Waste NZ Trust, firstname.lastname@example.org , 09 486 0738 (Auckland)