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New Zealand Bans Use of Single-Use Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic shopping bags are defined as any plastic bag which has handles and is less than 70 microns thick

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Plastic shopping bags in the fruit and vegetable section and other areas of supermarkets are the only exemption. Wikimedia Commons

Single-use plastic bags have been officially banned for all New Zealand retailers from Monday. As stipulated by the Waste Minimisation (Plastic Shopping Bags) Regulations 2018, which came into force on Monday, New Zealand retailers including stores, supermarkets and restaurants will no longer be able to sell or distribute any single-use plastic shopping bags, reports Xinhua news agency.

Single-use plastic shopping bags are defined as any plastic bag which has handles and is less than 70 microns thick. Plastic shopping bags in the fruit and vegetable section and other areas of supermarkets are the only exemption.

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Businesses were given six months ahead of the ban to phase-out single-use plastic bags. Wikimedia Commons

New Zealand Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage said that the ban on single-use plastic shopping bags is a step towards healthier oceans and giving nature a hand.

ALSO READ: Greenpeace Asks for Ambitious Measures from G20 Group to Tackle The Plastic Waste Crisis

“New Zealanders are proud of our country’s clean, green reputation and want to help ensure we live up to it. The plastic shopping bag ban is one step to tackle New Zealand’s waste issues. We also need to recharge our materials recovery and recycling systems and shift to a circular economy,” Sage said.

Mainstream supermarkets have already made the change away from single-use plastic shopping bags. Businesses were given six months ahead of the ban to phase-out single-use plastic bags. (IANS)

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New Zealand Government Announces Ambitious Plan to Protect Endangered Dolphins

The proposals also include the Department of Conservation developing an action plan to deal with toxoplasmosis

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New Zealand, Government, Dolphins
Proposals for consultation for a revised Threat Management Plan to protect the dolphins released on Monday. Pixabay

The New Zealand government on Monday unveiled a plan to expand and strengthen the protection for the endangered Maui and Hector’s dolphins.

Proposals for consultation for a revised Threat Management Plan to protect the dolphins released on Monday.

Extending the boundaries of the West Coast North Island Marine Mammal Sanctuary south to Wellington and extending the Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary north to Kaikoura, south to Timaru, and offshore to 20 nautical miles are included in the proposals.

The proposals also include the Department of Conservation developing an action plan to deal with toxoplasmosis, a disease that can affect dolphins and other marine mammals, by targeting research to answer knowledge gaps, enhancing education for cat owners and advocating for riparian and wetland restoration.

New Zealand, Government, Dolphins
The New Zealand government on Monday unveiled a plan to expand and strengthen the protection for the endangered Maui and Hector’s dolphins. Pixabay

“These precious dolphins are New Zealand taonga (treasure). We need to act now to ensure their populations increase and both species thrive,” said Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.

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It is estimated that only 63 Maui dolphins are remaining, and Hector’s dolphins are nationally vulnerable with about 15,000 in New Zealand waters. (IANS)