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Parliament's greenwash hoodwinks Ministers

25 June 2008

Parliament's greenwash hoodwinks Ministers

Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons told a conference on carbon neutrality and sustainability in the Public Sector that under the Govt3 waste system Ministerial Offices have - for over a year - diligently been separating organic waste, only for it to be landfilled.

"The Government is trying to lead the country with Climate Change legislation and by supporting the Green Party's Waste Minimisation Bill, so it is embarrassing that waste still isn't being composted, MPs aren't off-setting air travel and, even worse, Parliament is engaging in deceptive greenwash," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"What this means is that Ministers, presumably including the Prime Minister and Minister for the Environment, have been dutifully separating their compost, only for it to be recombined with general rubbish and sent to the landfill - resulting in totally avoidable waste and harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

"To pretend to offer composting but then throw it in the landfill is pure greenwash. For over a year, compostable waste has been sent to the tip, while Ministers and their staff were being told that by making the effort to separate out their waste they were doing the right thing.

"After the Green Party learnt of this situation and suggested to Parliamentary Services the name of a company which is able to collect and compost organic waste, we are now pleased to learn that Parliament is planning a pilot scheme to start in July.

"Unless Parliament can get its own house in order on simple things like composting waste, reducing consumption and offsetting flights, then the task of leading the country to a sustainable future will be exposed as hypocritical."

It is estimated that annually, 30 tonnes of compostable waste from the Parliamentary complex is being sent to landfill unnecessarily.


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