Auckland should follow the United Kingdom and charge about 10 cents for plastic supermarket bags, says Mayoral candidate and Labour MP Phil Goff.

In May this year, Countdown on Waiheke Island stopped using plastic checkout bags and Goff wants to reduce plastic bag use citywide.

"Last year the United Kingdom introduced an equivalent 10 cents charge on all plastic bags used in supermarkets (with exceptions for some goods such as meat, fish and vegetables). The result was an 85 per cent reduction in plastic bag use. This is replicated in cities around the world which have taken this action. We need to do the same," he said.

He said charging for plastic bags cannot be introduced through a council bylaw and as mayor he would work with MPs to promote a change through a Local Bill in Parliament.


As part of the second leg of his environmental policy being released today, Goff wants to move the city's bus fleet from diesel to electric, progressively convert the council's 800 cars to electric and increase efforts to restore the Hauraki Gulf.

He supports more marine protected areas to help restore fish stocks, saying snapper stocks have been reduced to 19 per cent of original stock.

Goff's first leg of his environmental policy called for the planting of an extra one million trees and shrubs over three years.