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Greens’ Waste Bill tackles crisis

5 April 2005

Greens’ Waste Bill tackles crisis and offers a better future

Waving a serious legislative stick at business over waste will help reduce New Zealand’s role in the looming global environmental crisis, but will also make the country a world leader in quality of life.

That’s the message Green MP Mike Ward will be delivering to two very different audiences later this week as he seeks support for his Waste Minimisation Bill. On Thursday he is speaking to the Employers and Manufacturers’ Association conference in Auckland, while on Friday he is speaking to the Zero Waste Conference in Kaikoura.

“I believe that manufacturers are people too and that they care just as much as I do about the world their grandchildren will inherit,” said Mr Ward, the Green Party’s Waste-free Spokesperson

“So I believe I can convince the Employers and Manufacturers that they should embrace these proposals and accept a toughening up of the rules around waste disposal.

“This is not just about doing the ‘nice’ or ‘right’ thing. I’m proposing these ideas because humanity, of which New Zealanders are a part, is facing environmental crises in the near future that threaten our very existence, a fact confirmed just last week by the Millennium Ecological Assessment.

“But this is not about going without, but about doing things smarter, meeting more of our needs locally and aspiring to quality. It is one link in capitalising on all of our creativity, entrepreneurial flair and innate Kiwi good sense to create the kind of future that we would wish for our children and ourselves.

“The key elements of my Waste Minimisation Bill are:

- A Waste Minimisation Authority charged with implementing the Waste Strategy. Yes, it will prevent folk from throwing stuff away, but its main role will be to encourage and facilitate smarter production and consumption.

- Landfill levies to fund the activities of the WMA. While the Bill makes provision for carrots, this is unashamedly a stick. If you're going to throw my children's inheritance away, it will cost you.

- Landfill bans on currently recyclable products and resources. As our capacity to reuse and recycle is developed the authority will add to the banned items.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a device for encouraging the manufacture of great products. It should be easier for people to buy products with reusable packaging, with less packaging, recyclable packaging or preferably no packaging at all.”


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