Single-use plastic shopping bags are banned in New Zealand, effective July 1, 2019. 

About the Ban

The ban applies to all new single-use plastic shopping bags with handles that are made of plastic up to 70 microns in thickness.

Bags which are banned

  • light-weight plastic bags commonly found at supermarket, takeaway food and other retail checkouts
  • heavier boutique-style plastic shopping bags commonly found at department or clothing stores
  • ‘emergency’ bags offered by some supermarkets as an alternative to a free single-use plastic bag.

The ban includes bags made of degradable plastic. This is regardless of whether the plastic material is made from fossil-fuel or biological sources such as plants.

This includes biodegradable, compostable and oxy-degradable plastics bags. These are sometimes marketed as ‘not plastic’ and may have these icons:  

Bags which are not banned

The following bags are not included in the ban. (Unless they have handles for the dual use of carrying sold goods.)

  • Bin liners
  • Bags for collecting pet waste
  • Barrier bags used when purchasing meat, and fruit and vegetables.  

Also plastic packaging is not included in the ban.

Read more

Visit the New Zealand Ministry of Environment website for more information on the plastic bag ban effective July 1, 2019.