Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has voted in favour of a request to Government to impose a compulsory levy on plastic shopping bags at point of sale.
The proposal put forward by the Palmerston North City Council at the AGM was supported by 89 percent of delegates.
The Green Party has also expressed strong support for imposing a levy. Denise Roche of the Greens says, “Councils deal with waste every day and the National Government needs to regulate so that councils can follow through with what their communities want, which is to introduce a levy that would lead to fewer plastic bags being used and ending up in the environment.”
At the AGM, Local Government members said they supported the Government’s recent announcement to invest $1.2 million dollars in recycling stations at some major retail outlets but argued that more action is needed. Whilst recycling is important, the country must also focus on reduction in bag usage.
The introduction of levies in countries like Denmark, Ireland and China were also highlighted which have led to a dramatic reduction in plastic bag use.
Roche says, “It’s great to see so many councils responding to calls from their communities and supporting a levy on single use plastic bags.”