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Packaging Accord Wishful Thinking

13 August 2004

Packaging Accord Wishful Thinking

New Zealand First says that the voluntary packaging accord announced this week is pie in the sky stuff and not grounded in the real world.

“Packaging is part and parcel of the consumer-driven world that we live in. The disposal of that packaging and other waste is something that needs to be tackled in a realistic way,” said environment spokesperson Jim Peters.

“A voluntary agreement signed by some major players in the industry is a long way from anything more than a band-aid solution to the problem.

“Marian Hobbs said as much in the House this week when she agreed that it was wishful thinking to hope that a voluntary accord will be more cost-effective for business than legislation. If it proves to be a cost for business, then they will look at ways to reduce that cost. That’s what businesses do.

“The most pragmatic way to encourage businesses, organisations and individuals to reduce waste is to create an incentive system. The Government would do well to look at the South Australian model, which operates a deposit scheme for plastic, glass, steel and aluminium containers.

“The accord that this Government has come up with is too piecemeal to be effective. The threat of legislation after five years of monitoring is equally futile. I challenge the Environment Minister to prove me wrong,” said Mr Peters.


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