NZ needs to ban single-use plastics – environmentalist

New Zealand needs to move quickly to join the growing list of Pacific nations banning single-use plastics, an environmentalist says.

Samoa will look to ban all single-use plastic from January, with plastic and styrofoam containers also to be phased out.

Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, some states in Australia and India have already announced bans.

Zero-waste New Zealand director Jo Knight said the government here needed to get on board.

“You can walk down the beach and see it, can’t you?

“You can see straws, plastic tops, plastic bags drifting round all over the countryside.”

But she said if plastics were banned it was important that whatever replaced them did not create more harm to the environment.

The Indian state of Maharashtra, which is home to more than 100-million people, has also imposed a ban on plastic to try to reduce waste.

The ban, which covers the giant city of Mumbai, applies to plastic bags, single-use containers and cutlery.

“This issue is too large to for us to sit by without taking any action,” said Ulu Bismarck Crawley, the chief executive of Samoa’s environment ministry said.