Plastic and Related Products Regulations 2022

The regulations prohibit the sale and manufacture of certain single-use and hard-to-recycle plastic items. 

Official title

Waste Minimisation (Plastic and Related Products) Regulations 2022

Lead agency


In force from

1 October 2022 

Amendment regulations

November 2022: Waste Minimisation (Plastic and Related Products) Amendment Regulations 2022 [NZ Legislation website]

In force from 1 July 2023

In force from:

1 July 2023

About the regulations

Retailers can no longer sell or distribute targeted plastic items and they can no longer be manufactured.

The regulations give effect to policy decisions made in June 2021 following an earlier consultation period.

The regulations were approved and announced in March 2022 and November 2022, providing businesses a six-month period, until each ban came into force.

Reasons for the regulations

Plastic is one of our greatest environmental challenges. It regularly ends up as waste in our landfills, our moana and whenua.

Difficult-to-recycle packaging and products can interfere with our recycling systems and are often used only once before being disposed of.

Shifting away from hard-to-recycle and single-use plastics will help reduce plastic waste, improve our recycling systems and protect our environment. This shift is also part of our journey to move Aotearoa New Zealand towards a low-carbon, low-waste circular economy. 

Read more information about how we consulted on banning these items and decisions

Groups affected by the regulations

The regulations apply to any individual, business or retailer who sells (including suppliers) or manufactures any of the targeted plastic item(s) in New Zealand.  

This includes: 

  • Manufacturers 
  • Businesses selling the prohibited plastics (this includes providing them for free)
  • Hospitality businesses providing these plastics.

Importing and exporting these items

The regulations do not specifically cover imports; however, imports are caught by proxy as the items are banned from sale in New Zealand (and sale includes the free provision alongside a purchased product). 

For example, the regulations do not stop someone from importing plastic drink stirrers into New Zealand. However, they are intended to prevent the sale of those stirrers to anyone else. 

Further information

If you have questions on the Plastic and Related Products Regulations contact the plastic phase-out team at