In an effort to tackle plastic pollution, New Zealand is committed to banning plastic bags for good.
On Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced plans to ban single-use plastic shopping bags, giving retailers a six-month window to phase them out.
With an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic waste entering the global marine environment each year, and New Zealand's marine Exclusive Economic Zone (a UN-prescribed state sea zone) being 15 times the size of its land mass, the country has a significant part to play in the globe's plastic pollution cleanup.
“We’re phasing-out single-use plastic bags so we can better look after our environment and safeguard New Zealand’s clean, green reputation,” said Ardern in a press statement.
"Every year in New Zealand we use hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bags - 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."