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New Zealand to ban single-use plastic bags

AFP  |  Wellington 

became the latest country today to outlaw single-use plastic shopping bags, with saying they will be phased out over the next year as a "meaningful step" towards reducing pollution.

uses "hundreds of millions" of single-use plastic bags each year, many of which end up harming marine life, said.

"We need to be far smarter in the way we manage waste and this is a good start," she said.

"We're phasing-out single-use plastic bags so we can better look after our and safeguard New Zealand's clean, green reputation." said her coalition government, which includes the

Single-use plastic bags are among the most common items found in coastal litter in and the environmental group welcomed the decision to outlaw them.

"This could be a major leap forward in turning the tide on ocean plastic pollution and an important first step in protecting marine life such as sea turtles and whales, from the growing plastic waste epidemic," Oceans Campaigner said.

A report in June said up to five trillion grocery bags are used globally each year, which is nearly 10 million plastic bags per minute.

"If tied together, all these plastic bags could be wrapped around the world seven times every hour" and like most plastic garbage barely any is recycled, said Erik Solheim, of UN

The UN said more than 60 countries had introduced bans and levies on single-use plastic items like bags. But better waste management, financial incentives to change consumers' buying habits and research into alternative materials were needed to make any real change, it added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, August 10 2018. 06:35 IST
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