10,000 signatures reached
To: Dr Nick Smith, Minister for the Environment.
Ban Plastic Bags in NZ
I urge the Minister for the Environment Nick Smith to implement a nationwide ban of single use plastic bags in New Zealand. There are many alternatives to unrecyclable and toxic plastic bags such as biodegradable bags, reusable bags and recycled paper bags. Relying on consumer behaviour change or voluntary measures by businesses is not going to reduce plastic bag use. Regulation like this proposed ban is needed in order to curb plastic bag use.
Why is this important?
How this issue affects you, your children, our country, and our oceans world-wide:
Plastic bags impact our irreplaceable environment here in New Zealand when they are produced, when they are disposed to landfill, and especially when they are littered. Once littered, plastic bags can find their way onto our streets and parks and into our waterways. They are a large portion of the litter in our streams and can take a lifetime to fully break down. Once in the environment, plastic bags are often ingested by animals, clogging their insides which results in sickness or death, a horrible truth that is easily preventable. Other animals or birds become entangled in plastic bags and drown or can’t fly as a result. Our Ministry for the Environment also say that plastic bags exacerbate flood events when they clog pipes and block drains (1). ]
Not only does unregulated and uncurbed plastic bag use harm our environment it also harms our Clean Green NZ brand which is estimated to earn us around $20 billion a year (2). New Zealand is already lagging behind many countries/places who have already Banned Plastic bags: California, Portland, Mexico City, Dehli, Mumbai, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Sydneys Oyster Bay for example (3).
Plastic bags also contain many toxins and chemicals including BPA which has direct links to cancer. They are made from oil – each bag uses about the same amount that would drive a car 115 metres (4).
Now, I know that by now you are probably horrified by the impact that these unrecyclable, toxic, animal-trapping objects are having, but, here is a fun-fact to tip you over the edge and get you signing and sharing this people powered petition! “The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating in every square mile of ocean.” (5)
That is a lot of unneeded waste isn’t it? So all of you tidy Kiwis and eco friendly people lets put New Zealand on the map as a leader in this worldwide movement!
BAN THE BAG!