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Reducing our environmental impact

Retailers, like all business owners and consumers, have a shared responsibility to reduce their environmental impact and are actively working to address sustainability issues. A particular challenge for our sector is packaging waste. Retail NZ has been working with others over many years to reduce the level of packaging waste generated and to minimise its impacts if it enters the environment. We will continue to work in this space and keep you informed.

The ban on single-use plastic shopping bags has come into effect as of 1 July 2019. This includes any bags made of any plastic material that is manufactured from any source (including a bio-based source), whether or not it is deigned to degrade in a particular way.

The regulations define a plastic shopping bag as a bag that is:

  • wholly or predominately made of plastic that is less than 70 microns in thickness
  • new or unused
  • has handles.

Retailers are not allowed to provide, or sell, single-use plastic shopping bags to customers for the purpose of carrying goods, including online retailers. For more information on what alternatives are available to you, check out our webinar on the plastic bag ban.

Our Advice Service is here to assist you on this issue, and others, should you need some help. Don't hesitate to get in touch.

Soft plastic recycling scheme

Soft Plastics Recycling Pic

As of April 2019, the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme has resumed limited collections at select stores in Auckland. The collected material will 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 by a number of retailers across the country will contribute significantly to reducing volumes of plastic waste, however there is still a long way to go. Retailers and the Packing Forum are committed to reducing plastic packing waste and finding sustainable, long term solutions.

Other sustainability issues

There are a number of other issues that retailers face when it comes to sustainability, such as trying to reduce their carbon footprint, improve efficiencies within the supply chain and create more sustainable stores. If there is something you'd like to know more about, please get in touch and we will do our best to advise you.

Updated 11th July 2019