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Kiwis taking on environment message

15 October 2006

Kiwis taking on environment message

The successes of the Govt3 and Packaging Accord, combined with two new private sector waste reduction initiatives, show that both government and business are taking environmental sustainability seriously, Environment Minister David Benson-Pope said today.

"New Zealanders are taking on board the 'reuse, recycle, reduce waste' message," Mr Benson-Pope said. "Just last week I launched two new initiatives for industrial plastics recycling and paper waste reduction, and announced some great results from Govt3 and the Packaging Accord."

Industrial plastic recycling firm Astron Plastics has opened a new extrusion machine that will boost Astron's plastic recycling from 10,000 tonnes to 12-14,000 tonnes per day, and will enable recycling of some plastic 'contaminated' with paper labels – the only machine in New Zealand to be able to do so.

Label printing firm Label and Litho has announced its new method of manufacturing labels that don't use the conventional, non-recyclable, silicon-based lining material. "Around 60 percent of every label produced is waste," Mr Benson-Pope said. "This new innovation by Label and Litho will cut that waste dramatically."

Mr Benson-Pope said that government was continuing to lead the way in environmental sustainability and waste reduction.

"At the Govt3 awards at the start of the week, we learned about amazing initiatives within government to save energy, reduce waste, and cut greenhouse gas emissions. I was delighted to announce at the awards that the government is introducing new measures to tackle global warming into the Govt3 programme.

"We've also marked the two-year milestone of the Packaging Accord, which has set bold targets for plastics, steel, aluminium, and paper recycling by 2008. The two-year progress report showed that New Zealand's paper sector currently has a 72 per cent recovery rate, one of the highest in the world. We're well on track to meet the 2008 targets."

"The environment can be an issue that it's easy to ignore, until it's too late," Mr Benson-Pope said. "Looking after our environment for today and the future is key to our economic transformation, family wellbeing, and national identity. New Zealanders are taking that message on board, and the government will continue to lead."

ENDS

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