Councils support shopping bag levy

  • 19/07/2015
Shopping bags (iStock)
Shopping bags (iStock)

The government should impose compulsory levies to help stamp out plastic bag use, say councils around the country.

Almost 90 percent of delegates at Local Government New Zealand's annual conference voted today in favour of asking the government to impose a compulsory levy on the bags at the point of sale.

The vote comes after Environment Minister Nick Smith said yesterday the government would invest more than $1.2 million to allow soft plastics that cannot be recycled to be reused.

Delegates supported the government's move, but said the councils had to also focus on reducing bag usage.

The Greens say the government has no excuse to avoid imposing a levy after LGNZ passed the motion with overwhelming support.

Spokeswoman Denise Roche said the government needed to regulate so councils could follow through on what their communities wanted - introducing a levy.

"National is refusing to take action to reduce the number of plastic bags being used but local councils are the ones who pay the price, fishing plastic bags out of drains and stormwater systems and cleaning them up from beaches, waterways, and reserves."