Declining use of plastic bags prompts change

Bags to be binned

by Mike Isle

Change is coming for kerbside recycling collection in Selwyn, with plastic bags given the bin.

From Monday, July 1, plastic shopping bags will need to go in the red bin — rather than the yellow kerbside recycling bin.

Solid Waste manager Andrew Boyd said the decision is a result of the falling number of bags, following the decision by major supermarkets and the government to phase them out.

According to Getaway Magazine, New Zealand will join seven other countries committed to a full or partial ban on plastics.

According to the magazine, Rwanda has the right to be called the world’s first completely plastic-free nation, 10 years after introducing a ban on all plastic bags and plastic packaging, in 2008. Moreover, there are some heavyweight measures taken if caught in Rwanda with plastic. A jail sentence for up to six months is possible, and on entering a border vehicles are searched and any plastic bags or packaging confiscated.

In Selwyn, there are less draconian measures.

The number of plastic bags going into bins in Selwyn has still been falling since the start of the year, Mr Boyd said, matching the change around the country.

Plastics that are marked as compostable or biodegradable also need to be put into the red bin or composted at home.