Phasing out single-use plastic shopping bags

Date:  24 November 2018

We are excited to share with you the news that following a public consultation, Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage has today confirmed the Government’s intention to phase out single-use plastic shopping bags. Minister Sage confirmed that the mandatory phase out will be in force by 1 July 2019.

Cabinet considered the results of the consultation on Monday 12 November along with policy advice from the Ministry for the Environment.

The Cabinet decided that single-use plastic shopping bags under 70 microns will be included in the phase out, with the exception of lightweight bags made of synthetic fabric and designed for multiple use over a long life. Degradable plastic bags such as oxo-degradable, biodegradable and compostable are also being phased out.

This announcement follows a five-week public consultation process, where 92 per cent of submitters supported the proposed mandatory phase out. Over 9300 submissions were received.

More information is available in Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage's press release on the Beehive website

We have released the summary of submissions on the Government’s proposed mandatory phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags in New Zealand.

Find out more

Photos of plastic shopping bags being phased out