The New Zealand government have announced single-use plastic bags will be banned.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced on Friday the plan to phase out the bags across the country over the next 12 months.
“We’re phasing out single-use plastic bags so we can better look after our environment and safeguard New Zealand’s clean, green reputation,” Ms Ardern said.
“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.”
New Zealand is one of the top producers of urban waste in the developed world per capita, according to Waste Management World.
A petition was started earlier in the year to ban plastic bags in the country and was signed by more than 60,000 New Zealanders.
- The four-hour event at Coles set to divide shoppers this weekend
Ms Ardern said the government had listened to those who had signed the petition.
Retailers have been given six months to start phasing out the bags and could be fined up to $89,621 if they do not comply, The Australian reported.
In Australia, all states and territories except NSW have moved towards a ban.