Speaking up for you


Working towards environmental sustainability

Protecting Aotearoa’s environment is a shared responsibility, and Retail NZ believes that all retailers benefit from running a business sustainably.

Phase out of plastics

The Government has announced the phase out of problem plastics and some single-use plastics by July 2025.

What types of plastics are going to be phased out by 2025 in New Zealand?
  • Hard to recycle food and drink packaging made from PVC, polystyrene and some degradable plastic products (e.g. oxo and photo degradable)
  • Single-use plastics items, including drink stirrers, cotton buds, single use produce bags, cutlery, plates and bowls, straws and fruit labels.

The phase out will take place in three stages starting in last 2022. You can find out more information here.

New Zealand’s Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban

Retailers no longer provide or sell single-use plastic bags in New Zealand, because a ban came into effect July 2019. Prior to the ban, we were urging government to minimise this waste.

What regulations define a single use plastic shopping bag in New Zealand?

A single use plastic shopping bag:

  • is wholly or predominately made of plastic that’s less than 70 microns in thickness,
  • can be new or unused,
  • has handles,
  • and can be made from a bio-based source, whether or not it is designed to degrade.

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 Plastics Recycling Scheme?

The Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme placed collection bins at select Auckland stores, in April 2019. Future Post and Second Life Plastics then remade the soft plastics into a number of materials.

What’s next?

The Scheme and the ban has reduced plastic waste significantly. But there’s still a lot to do in the sustainability space. With the long road ahead, retailers and the Packing Forum are committed to finding long-term solutions for reducing plastic packaging.

Other sustainability issues

Retailers engage with a range of other environmental issues, including:

  • Reducing carbon footprint.
  • Improving supply chain efficiencies.
  • Creating more sustainable stores.
  • Reducing packaging waste. This is a real issue for the retail sector, which is why we stand for product stewardship.

If you have any questions you can get in touch at [email protected] or give us a call on 0800 472 472 (1800 128 086 from Australia).

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