“ACT would repeal the ban on single-use plastic bags and introduce a small levy to help clean up international waterways”, Leader David Seymour says.
“The Government’s ban, which comes into force tomorrow, represents emotional environmentalism and nanny statism, informed neither by science nor economics.
“The level of policy analysis by the Government was so poor that it didn’t even define the problem it was trying to solve. Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage said she had no idea what proportion of single-use plastic bags end up in waterways.
“The ban could actually produce worse environmental outcomes as people substitute towards heavier bags which need to be used dozens or hundreds of times in order to have less environmental impact. No Green MP has a science degree, so it's not surprising that this policy could end up hurting the planet.
“Plastic filling the oceans is a global problem that requires an international solution. 93 per cent of plastic delivered into the world’s oceans come from ten rivers in Asia and Africa.
“ACT would repeal the Government’s ban and introduce a levy of five cents per plastic bag that would go towards international efforts to reduce the amount of plastic in our oceans.
Plastic bag levies are used in Ireland, Belgium and Hong Kong.
“We need to weigh the value consumers place on plastic bags against the environmental impacts, something the Government failed to do.
“ACT would retain freedom and choice for consumers by allowing those for whom the use of plastic bags is valuable to continue to do so while also helping the environment.”