The Whanganui District Council will take a look in the mirror as it continues to back initiatives to reduce waste and plastic use in the district.

But a bylaw banning single-use plastic bags in the district not on the cards.

The council's waste adviser, Stuart Hylton, said several councils had looked into introducing a bylaw but had decided against it due to issues with application and enforcement.

"While I'll advocate that this is a national issue ... it is difficult. I wouldn't advocate at all that we try do so locally," he told a strategy and finance committee meeting.


Councils around the country have been pressuring the Government to introduce a levy on single-use plastic bags.

In 2015, 89 per cent of councils supported a Local Government New Zealand remit asking the Government to introduce a levy on plastic bags.

This year 65 mayors and chairmen signed a letter calling for the same thing but Mr Hylton said the council would have to wait and see what the new Government would do.

Retailers are also beginning to go plastic bag-free voluntarily with New World and Countdown to stop offering them from late 2018.

But Councillor Helen Craig asked what the council was doing within its own organisation when it came to disposing of plastic.

"Do we even collect plastic that's discarded in out kitchens? What's our policy?"

Information on what the council was doing will be brought back to the committee.

"I think there is an awareness here that we've just got to be doing a little bit more," the council's chief executive, Kym Fell, said.

Mr Fell said he had switched to reusable coffee cups for takeaway coffee when it was pointed up to him. "Are we perfect? No. But I think we're making some good steps."