End Of The Road For Paper Rubbish Bags In Tauranga

Paper rubbish bags are being phased out by the Tauranga City Council, which is also increasing the price of its pre-stickered black plastic bags by 30 cents from August 1.

Residents who have a supply of council paper bags with yellow stickers will still be able to use them until their supply runs out, but they will stop being sold and once gone you will have to use pre-paid plastic bags.

The council says there has been an 85 percent drop in use of the more expensive paper bags since the introduction of plastic ones in 2003, and some retailers no longer stock the paper option.

The pre-stickered council plastic bags being used are 80 percent recycled New Zealand plastic and are made in New Zealand.

The council has refrained from commenting on the environmental issues associated with plastic bags taking much longer to break down in landfills.

A spokesman from the Council wouldn't debate the relative merits of paper and plastic bags. He stated that the Council would like people to do as much as possible to reduce the amount of waste they put out for the garbage collectors to pick up.

He would also like to see Tauranga residents composting food scraps, buying meat wrapped in paper from butchers rather than shrink wrapped on plastic supermarket trays, checking that plastic containers are made from recyclable No 1 or 2 plastic, and recycling glass, paper and metals wherever possible.

"Ultimately the best way to care for the environment is to reduce the amount of stuff going to landfills."