New Zealand Bans Disposable Plastic Bags

More than 80 countries have already introduced similar bans, writes NOVA TV. 

New Zealand officially banned disposable plastic bags, introducing heavy fines for companies that continue to provide them.

Plastic pollution has become a growing global concern, with a million birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals injured or killed each year.

Companies that break the ban in New Zealand will face heavy sanctions, such as fines of up to $ 67,000.

"The New Zealanders are proud of their country's clean and green reputation and  we want to keep it," said Environment Minister Eugenie Sage.

"The ending of the use of disposable plastic bags helps'', she said.

Under the new rules, thin nylon single market bags can no longer be delivered, but the law allows reusable carriers to continue using them.

The legislation announced in August last year and enters into force today, will have little effect in practice as large supermarkets in New Zealand have already voluntarily banned bags.

But Sage said she was also putting the issue of recycling on the agenda.

More than 80 countries have already introduced similar bans, according to the United Nations Environment Program.

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