Hello??!! Nick, if you want to be in the Green Party, join it.
A 5c tax on every plastic bag is allegedly based on the "polluter pays" principle. Paying for what though? This is when the advocates shut up.
Smith says "We are a country of just four-million people, we use over a billion bags a year, and to me that's excessive". Oh sorry Dear Leader Nick, we are using them too much, like bad little children wanting to carry our shopping in multiple bags, then using them for rubbish disposal. We ARE naughty, go on tell us off.
The proposed tax would raise revenue to go back to supermarkets. Odd indeed. Especially since some shops already charge for bags, like Pak n Save in the North Island. So there IS choice. Nick doesn't like that though, as any good Green MP he believes in using force - force is good.
The supermarket sector prefers a voluntary approach, but is gutlessly supporting the proposal if the government mandates it (presuming glad the government wants to impose a tax to give money to supermarkets).
The same report says they comprise only 0.2% of waste but don't biodegrade. The appropriate response is "so what", largely because as long as people pay for landfill use (which many do not because councils subsidise them), then it is irrelevant. You see, that is the only issue.
So my solution is far more direct. Landfills should be privatised. All councils should be required to put landfills into profit-oriented Council Controlled Organisations, and to privatise them. That would mean everyone has to pay for rubbish collection and disposal, at market prices. Then, polluters would be paying, because as long as you pay for what you throw away, and it goes somewhere that does not leach onto neighbouring land, then who cares?
Unless, of course, you worship the ideology that throwing away anything is bad.