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No more plastic bags

  • News
  • July 3, 2019
  • The Register team
No more plastic bags

Regulations banning single-use plastic bags officially came into force from 1 July 2019 under the Waste Minimisation (Plastic Shopping Bags) Regulations 2018.

The ban was decided in December last year, and applies to plastic bags which are:

  • new or unused 
  • single-use
  • with handles 
  • under 70 microns in thickness 
  • for the purpose of carrying or distributing sold goods. 

As well as standard shopping bags, the ban includes bags made of degradable plastic, regardless of whether they’re made from fossil fuel or plants; heavier plastic bags commonly used by retailers in the apparel or homewares categories; and ‘emergency’ bags like Countdown’s 15c Use Me Again bags.

The ban applies to consumer and B2B sales, online sales, for-profit and not-for-profit organisations, and retailers of every size from produce markets to department stores.

It does not apply to ‘barrier bags’ without handles for meat, fruit and vegetables offered in-store. Also excluded are bags which form part of a product’s packaging, such as pouches for cooked chicken, bin liners or rubbish bags, and bags for pet waste.

Many larger retailers chose to phase out plastic bags from their operations early. Countdown, Foodstuffs and The Warehouse Group all stopped offering single-use plastic bags by the end of 2018.

Customers are being advised to report businesses breaching the ban to the Ministry for the Environment through a form on its website. It will follow up directly with the retailer involved and can issue fines of up to $100,000 when regulations are deliberately contravened. 

The Ministry has said it will encourage voluntary compliance: “In the first instance our preference is to take an educational approach and to offer advice to help businesses understand their responsibilities.”

Those with large numbers of now-banned plastic bags may be able to get help with disposal from local recycling and plastic manufacturers. The Ministry for the Environment strongly recommends against sending surplus bags to landfill, noting that the law does not prevent retailers from finding other uses for their leftover single-use plastic bags or giving them away.

Retail NZ has created a webinar sharing more information about what the ban means for retailers. You can watch it here.

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Michael Hill International posts $17m profit

  • News
  • August 22, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Michael Hill International posts $17m profit

Jewellery retailer Michael Hill International has reported a lift in profit but is feeling the pinch of lower sales and squeezed margins.

Read more
 
 

Dylan Mulder explores new digital frontiers in the fashion world

  • Design
  • August 22, 2019
  • Findlay Buchanan
Dylan Mulder explores new digital frontiers in the fashion world

“What might a Louis Vuitton or Off-White digital piece of clothing be like?” Matthew Drinkwater, head of the Fashion Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion, mused to Vogue in April earlier this year. The question came in the wake of Carlings, a multi brand Scandinavian retailer, selling out its first digital-only clothing line. The process saw fashion designers manipulate photos of customers, so it appeared as though they were dressed up in Carlings' apparel. Customers would then go on to share the photos of themselves on digital platforms, Instagram, Facebook, and the rest, without actually having to wear the clothes.

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Gem Retail Hotlist: Be Free Grocer flourishes in Palmerston North

  • News
  • August 21, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Gem Retail Hotlist: Be Free Grocer flourishes in Palmerston North

Retail isn’t an obvious next step for a couple who met during five years’ volunteering at a Malaysian wildlife sanctuary, but Bronwyn Green and David Phillips’ passion for animals has led them to tackle waste management from the shopfloor. Green shared insights about their plastic-free grocery store Be Free Grocer with The Register.

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  • News
  • August 19, 2019
  • The Register
Shop with The Register: Dress up for New Zealand Fashion Week

Retailers are busy, and busy people don’t have time to be constantly catwalk-ready. But if you’d like to shine a little brighter while checking out the new season apparel at New Zealand Fashion Week, here’s some great ideas for professional women.

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