09:48 GMT +319 November 2018
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    A bird flies past dumped plastic bottles and other garbage

    New Zealand Signs Global Declaration Taking on Plastic Waste

    © AFP 2018 / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC
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    New Zealand revealed this week that it signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment declaration in an effort to work with international partners to cut down on plastics and become a "circular economy."

    According to a press release issued by Wellington, New Zealand will be joining 250 other organizations to establish a "new normal" that eliminates "problematic or unnecessary plastics." The pledge, which was unveiled at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali on Monday, was created in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and United Nations Environment Program.

    "The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment sees the countries involved commit to a ‘circular economy' approach to plastics, preventing them from becoming waste and ensuring they don't end up in the environment," Eugenie Sage, associate minister for the environment, said.

    "We're heading in the right direction, but we need to look at the whole plastic system in New Zealand and join other countries in adopting a true sustainable economy approach."

    New Zealand's latest move comes months after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced in early August that the country would begin phasing out single-use plastic bags as a means to safeguard the environment.

    According to the UN Environment Program, New Zealand is one of 60 countries that have already declared bans or levies on plastic bags.

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    Plastic Pollution, plastic bag, New Zealand
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