© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2018

Single-use plastic bags to be phased out by next year

Connor Stirling

A year from now, single-use plastic bags will be banned in New Zealand, the government has decided.

The Government has announced a mandatory phaseout of single-use plastic bags by next July.

The move comes after a petition of 65,000 signatures was presented to Parliament in February.

Both Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage made the announcement in a packed Wellington cafe, where they underlined the importance of the decision.

"It is time to listen and time to act collectively," Ardern said.

Other avenues such as a levy on bags were considered, but "a mandatory phase-out is quickest and most effective, and wouldn’t require a law change like a levy would," Sage said..

The public has been invited to make submissions on the decision.