The little town of Raglan is leading the fight against plastic bags.
On Friday, the Waikato beach town's Four Square banned plastic bags, encouraging people to provide their own reusable bags or use the store's compostable bags.
The compostable bags are made from vegetable starch that will fully break down in the natural environment.
"If they land on the streets, oceans, they break down to plant [matter], causing no harm to wildlife or the food chain," Plastic Bag Free Raglan project manager June Penn said.
The initiative is a joint project with the community board, businesses, kerbside recycler Xtreme Zero Waste and Raglan Chamber of Commerce.
Plastic is a multigenerational issue with huge implications, Penn said.
A plastic bag is a lightweight toxic material made from fossil fuels that is unable to fully break down.
We use in excess of 1.6 billion plastic bags nationally in New Zealand, Penn said.
"It is the number one consumable item in the world and has an average life of 12 minutes."