Breadcrumb navigation

Single-use plastic bags to be phased out

Published: 10 August 2018

Tweet this quote Share Share this

Single-use plastic bags to be banned.

Single-use plastic bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced on 10 August.

“We’re phasing-out single-use plastic bags so we can better look after our environment and safeguard New Zealand’s clean, green reputation,” said Jacinda Ardern.

Call for action is clear

Councillor Penny Hulse, Chair of the Environment and Community Committee welcomes the announcement.

“With hundreds of millions of plastic bags being used only once by Kiwis each year for an average of only 10 minutes, the desire to reduce our plastic waste and the call for action from the public to protect our environment is loud and clear.” 

“On behalf of Auckland Council and Mayor Goff, we also support the leadership and commitment from retailers and supermarkets such as Countdown and New World to phasing out single-use plastic bags by the end of 2018, key changes that will help start a movement to reduce all single-use plastics.”

Ban the bag

In Auckland, over 200,000 tonnes of plastic bags and other plastics are sent to landfill unnecessarily each year. 

As part of our commitment to reducing plastic waste, Auckland Council has phased out the use of orange plastic rubbish bags in kerbside collections for urban areas, replacing them with wheelie bins.

Removing single-use plastics is a positive start towards removing plastics pollution from our precious coastal and marine environments and moving towards a zero-waste future to help Auckland become a world-class city.

Have your say

To have your say, visit:

You can share your views on New Zealand becoming free of single-use plastic bags until Friday 14 September. This includes options for the date the phase-out is to be complete by, what bags should be included, any retailers that should be exempted, and how best to help people with the transition.

Read the full announcement

Living without plastic

Check out our top tips on how to live without plastic bags and reduce single-use plastic.


Six ways to use fewer plastic bags now

Both Countdown and New World have committed to phasing out single-use plastic bags at checkouts by the end of the year. But why wait? Here are some tips for reducing your reliance on plastic bags of all kinds today.

Five swaps to change your habits from plastic to fantastic

This Plastic Free July, we’re looking at small changes that collectively make a difference.

Keep the plastic-free habit going

Plastic Free July is over but you can still do your part for the environment.

Introduction to Composting Course

Learn the basics of composting at home with online and in-person courses.

Four plastics you can quit today

Here are four plastics you can stop using right now that will help our environment and save you money.

QuizAKL! How much do you know about plastic pollution?

Sunday 22 April is Earth Day, and this year's theme is 'End Plastic Pollution'.

Mayors call for levy on single-use plastic bags

The mayors of Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin have jointly launched an open letter to other mayors around the country to join the call on central government to institute a national levy on single use plastic bags.