Say No to Plastic Bags in New Zealand
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We are Ashley Vujcich and Jennifer Butcher from Orewa College, and we would like to see the policy on plastic bags in our country changed. Specifically, we would like to see a 15c levy placed on all plastic bags sold at checkouts in New Zealand.
Humans are killing the environment, and plastic bags are a big part of the problem. New Zealanders use around 1.6 billion single-use plastic bags a year. Plastic bags add tones of rubbish to our landfills, but a huge number of them don’t even make it that far; instead, they end up as litter in our streets and parks and waterways, and once in the environment, they can have devastating consequences as a result of their non-biodegradable nature, especially on animals. Tens of thousands off turtles, dolphins, whales, fish, birds, and other animals all die every ear after becoming entangled in or eating plastic bags.
We want to see this changed. So, we are calling on the Government of New Zealand to support the Green Party’s Waste Minimisation (Single-use Plastic Bag) Amendment Bill, and impose a 15c levy on all plastic bags in the country. We believe that a levy is (a good idea) to reducing the amount of plastic pollution in our country, and a major step toward keeping NZ clean, green, and beautiful.
Should the Bill pass into legislation, it would place a 15c charge on all plastic bags sold at the checkout, and the money generated would go to environmental non-for-profits and charities involved in waste minimisation projects, education, litter reduction, and beach-and-river clean ups. Thus, the levy has three major consequences: bringing awareness and starting a conversation on the issue, reducing plastic bag usage in NZ, and funding the work to undo the damage they have already done.
A large reason that we are so passionate about this topic is our community. We live in a coastal town on Auckland's Hibiscus Coast, and the beach and estuary are a large part of our lives. It’s upsetting to see the plastic bags are strewn up the beach, floating in the estuary, and stuck in our mangroves. We would love to see our beautiful community, and the whole country, free of litter and rubbish, and we believe that this levy is the first step toward that.
Thank you for your support.
Ashley and Jennifer.
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