When a survey on the usage of plastic bag around the world was done, it was estimated that 1 trillion single-use plastic bags are used, and that’s 2 million bags every minute! And as obvious, many of these bags find their way into the natural environment where they can cause problems for wildlife and of course, pollution on a wider scale.
Throughout the year 2018, a significant push towards banning single-use plastics has been observed. Cities and a few companies have moved to ban single-use plastic straws, plastic-free grocery stores have opened, and even some of the folks of New Zealand of the tentree team went plastic-free for the month of July! On August 10th,2018 New Zealand added its voice to those saying “no” to single-use plastics.
In a press conference, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a ban on single-use plastic bags that will be put into effect from 2019 on a full swing.
“We’re taking meaningful steps to reduce plastic pollution so we don’t pass this problem to future generations,” she said. It is estimated that New Zealand uses 750 million plastic bags every year, roughly 150 per New Zealander.
Retailers around the country have six months to get rid of all the plastic bags. Failure to comply may result in fines of up to$100,000.
One might be thinking of the motivation behind. According to Ardern, plastic pollution was the issue she hears from the children of New Zealand. She echoed their concerns about “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.”
In fact, New Zealand is not the first country to ban plastic bags. Bangladesh banned single-use plastic bags in the way back in the year 2002, and since then, 13 more countries have followed suit. New Zealand comes down to number 15.
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