Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage has confirmed that single-use plastic shopping bags under 70 microns will be phased out in New Zealand with regulations to come into force from 1 July 2019. This page has photos of single-use plastic shopping bags that are included in the mandatory phase out.
When we talk about plastic shopping bags, microns is a measurement of thickness.
Single-use plastic shopping bags included in the phase out.
35 microns or more, and less than 50
These tend to be heavier weight single-use plastic shopping bags, including supermarket check-out bags, and light-weight boutique-style shopping bags. They are typically made from LDPE (low-density polyethylene) and in some cases may be labelled as ‘compostable’ and ‘degradable’.
50 microns or more and less than 70
These tend to be boutique-style plastic shopping bags. They include the ‘emergency’ LDPE multi-use bags. They are typically made from LDPE (low-density polyethylene) and in some cases may be labelled as ‘compostable’ and ‘degradable.
Shopping bags not being phased out
70 microns or more
Heavier weight reusable bags manufactured using a range of fabrics and composites.
Reusable bags are typically measured by weight (grams per square metre), not thickness. They are multi-use and can be non-woven polypropylene, plain or coated.
They could be:
hessian with plasticised lining and padded cotton handles
canvas, hessian, recycled fabric, woven polypropylene
lightweight nylon fabric.