Single-use plastic shopping bags have already been phased out from supermarkets and large retailers, and from 1 July 2019, they will be banned for all businesses. Here’s what you need to know to make the transition.
The ban covers any plastic shopping bags that meet all of the following criteria:
Bio-based plastic bags are included in the ban because even though they are made from plants, their manufacturing process prevents them from breaking down as quickly or easily as their original source.
The Ministry for the Environment has photographed examples on their site of bags that are banned and bags that are acceptable going forward.
Which plastic shopping bags are being phased out? — Ministry for the Environment.
Environmental Attitudes research — Ministry for the Environment
Start to transition your business away from plastic by encouraging your customers to bring their own shopping bags. You might also offer or sell your own reusable bags for customer use.
Paper bags are allowed, but they are still considered a single-use option and require a lot of resources to produce (wood, chemicals, energy and water). If you choose to use paper products, unbleached paper and paper that includes recycled content is preferable.
You may also need to cancel any existing inventory orders for plastic shopping bags covered by the phase out.
The Ministry for the Environment has resources available to help you communicate the change to your customers. These include frequently asked questions, posters and social media that are free to use.
Plastic bag phase out — Ministry for the Environment
Answering customers questions — Ministry for the Environment
Posters for businesses — Ministry for the Environment
Contact the Ministry for the Environment by phone at 0800 499 700 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.