Just this year 65,000 Kiwis, including Jurassic Park actor Sam Neill, signed a petition calling for the ban on single-use plastic bags, with many of those supporters marching through the streets of Wellington all the way to Parliament, according to the Otago Daily Times.
"We're phasing-out single-use plastic bags so we can better look after our environment and safeguard New Zealand's clean, green reputation", says Jacinda Ardern. "Today marks the beginning of the end for over 2 billion single-use plastic bags that clog our communities, coasts, rubbish dumps and oceans each year", says Hunter.
"This is a historic occasion for New Zealand's environment and we're very proud to be standing alongside Prime Minister Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage as they propose this legislation".
New Zealand's government has announced a country-wide ban on all lightweight, single-use plastic bags in an attempt to reduce the amount of plastic pollution making its way into the surrounding marine environment, reports The Guardian. The European Commission has a strategy to tackle the 10 top polluting single use plastics.
The public are able to give their views on the change until September 14, which includes options when the complete phase-out date should be and retailers that should be exempt.
Greenpeace joined the movement for a regulatory bag ban on single use plastic bags previous year, quickly gaining widespread support with 65,000 signatures delivered to parliament in February 2018.
Ms Sage said many countries and major cities around the world have successfully taken action on plastic pollution in recent years, and she was confident New Zealanders could also embrace the change.
Recently 13 local and multi-national companies committed to use 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging in their New Zealand operations by 2025 or earlier.
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"Measures introduced by the previous government alongside industry would already have seen a more than 75 per cent reduction in plastic bag use without new regulations and higher costs", he claimed.
This morning, the Prime Minister and the Minister for the Environment announced the intention to end use of the bags over the next year.
The group said it would begin to offer a range of pay-for plastic-free reusable bags.
To have your say visit www.mfe.govt.nz.
Caroline Marr, director of small clothing retailer The Carpenters Daughter, also welcomed the ban.
"We should stop using plastic".
New Zealand isn't the first nation to ban plastic bags. But right now New Zealand has no such plan.