Councils around the country want a levy on single-use plastic bags and are calling on the government to step up and impose one. They say the country's landfills are clogged with the non-biodegradable bags, which also blow away, into waterways damaging marine life. New Zealanders use more than 1.6 billion plastic bags every year. The government-backed soft plastic recycling scheme, where returned plastic bags are made into other plastic products such as park benches, dealt with 25 million of those those bags last year – less than 2 percent of the total used. Vice President of Local Government NZ, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, Sandra Murray, coordinator of the anti-waste lobby group the Product Stewardship Council and Associate Minister for the Environment Scott Simpson.