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New Zealand to phase out plastic shopping bags

New Zealand to phase out plastic shopping bags

In New Zealand, regulations for mandatory phase-out of single-use plastic shopping bags will take effect from July 1, 2019. 

Retailers will no longer be able to sell or give away single-use plastic shopping bags from July next year after the cabinet agreed to the proposed regulations for a mandatory nationwide phase-out of these bags.

New Zealand has recently become a signatory to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, a global pledge to address the root causes of plastic pollution.

Plastic Pollution

Marine Pollution

  • Experts think that by 2050, the amount of plastic in the ocean will weigh more than the amount of fish in the ocean.
  • All animals, whether they live on land or in the sea, can be hurt by plastic.
  • They can get trapped in bigger items such as carrier bags or food packaging.
  • Birds, fish and shellfish can mistake plastic for food when it has broken down in to smaller pieces.

Poisonous

  • Man artificially makes plastic by using a number of toxic chemicals. Therefore, use of and exposure to plastics has been linked to a number of health concerns affecting people around the world.

Air Pollution

  • Burning of plastic in the open air, leads to environmental pollution due to the release of poisonous chemicals.
  • The polluted air when inhaled by humans and animals affect their health and can cause respiratory problems.

Land Pollution         

  • When plastic is dumped in landfills, it interacts with water and form hazardous chemicals. When these chemicals seep underground, they degrade the water quality.
  • Wind carries and deposits plastic from one place to another, increasing the land litter.
  • It can also get stuck on poles, traffic lights, trees, fences, tower etc. and animals that may come in the vicinity and might suffocate them to death.

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