Speaking up for you


How can retailers achieve environmental sustainability?

All business owners have a shared responsibility to reduce our environmental impacts. For the retail sector, a real challenge is packaging waste. In light of this, Retail NZ are actively working with others to reduce waste, and its impacts on the environment.

What regulations define a plastic shopping bag in New Zealand?

The ban on single-use plastic shopping bags started on 1 July 2019, including plastic bags made from a bio-based source, whether or not it is designed to degrade. A plastic shopping bag is:

  • Wholly or predominately made of plastic that is less than 70 microns in thickness.
  • New or unused.
  • Has handles.

Retailers, including online retailers, are not allowed to provide or sell single-use plastic shopping bags to customers.

For more information on what alternatives are available to you, check out our webinar on the plastic bag ban.

Got questions? Our Advice Service is here to assist you! You can get in touch here.

What is the soft plastic recycling scheme?

From April 2019, the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme had placed soft plastics collection bins at select stores in Auckland. These materials will then be processed and remade into a number of materials, by New Zealand processers Future Post and Second Life plastics.

The removal of single-use plastic shopping bags will significantly reduce plastic waste. However, there’s still a lot to do. Because of the long road ahead, retailers and the Packing Forum are committed to reducing plastic packaging, and aim to find sustainable, long-term solutions.

Other sustainability issues

Retailers face a number of other sustainability issues. These issues include reducing your carbon footprint, improving supply chain efficiencies, and creating more sustainable stores.

If there’s something you’d like to know more about, please get in touch! We’ll do our best to advise you.

Updated 11th July 2019.

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