New Zealand has a reputation for being clean and green. But many New Zealand beaches and rivers are polluted by plastic shopping bags. Now, the country is trying to live up to its image by banning those kinds of bags.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement on Aug. 10. She said that New Zealanders use “hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bags ? a mountain of bags.” The bags can hurt marine life, she said.
New Zealand’s two main supermarket chains had already announced their own plans to phase out plastic shopping bags by the end of this year.
A number of countries have introduced bans or restrictions on single-use plastic bags, including France, Belgium and China, as well as some states in the U.S. such as Hawaii and California.
“We need to be far smarter in the way we manage waste and this is a good start,” Ardern said. (AP)