Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Govt seeking feedback on dealing with harmful waste

Govt seeking feedback on dealing with harmful waste


Environment Minister Amy Adams today released a discussion document on possible options to improve the way some waste products are managed in New Zealand, especially those which can cause harm to the environment.

The Government is considering whether it should intervene to improve the management of four product waste streams – electrical and electronic equipment, tyres, agrichemicals and farm plastics, and refrigerants and other synthetic greenhouse gases.

“I am concerned about the risk of environmental harm from having tens of thousands of tonnes of waste products dumped in landfill unnecessarily,” Ms Adams says.

“For example, it is estimated that each year up to three million mobile phones become obsolete in New Zealand. Of those, only about 2 per cent are recycled.
“There are also millions of computers potentially being sent to landfill. Nearly eight million computers were in New Zealand homes and businesses in 2010. All of these computers will reach the end of their life at some stage, accelerated by rapid moves to new technology.

“Tyres also pose a significant problem for the environment. New Zealand imports more than five million vehicle tyres every year, replacing worn tyres which are then disposed of. More than 70 per cent of the disposed tyres go to some form of landfill.”

Since passing the Waste Minimisation Act (WMA) five years ago, the Government has encouraged voluntary product stewardship efforts as a first priority. Over this time, 11 voluntary product stewardship schemes have been accredited by the Government.

Product stewardship is when responsibility for the environmental effects that products can cause in their life cycle is shared among all sectors involved with the product.

Under the 11 voluntary schemes, more than 70,000 tonnes of waste has been diverted from landfill for recycling or safe destruction.

“These are good results, but this only equates to 1.4 per cent of the total waste stream going to disposal facilities.

“While the focus in New Zealand has been on voluntary schemes, in my view, the time has come to seriously consider appropriate mandatory approaches for selected priority waste streams.”

The first step in the process is to consult on whether the Government has correctly identified the four waste streams outlined in the discussion document as priorities for action, or whether there are other priorities the Government should focus on.

“I want to make clear that final decisions on regulations or product stewardship scheme design will not be made solely as a result of this consultation.

“The Government wants the decision process to be deliberate, well-informed and transparent.

“The next steps will be to consider in detail a range of options, including those recommended by industry working groups.

“This process would include close analysis of short-term and long-term economic, environmental and social costs and benefits, and consultation with potentially affected parties.

“Only after that would the Government consider what interventions, if any, to propose.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Harmful Digital Communication Bill Passes: Focus Must Be On Education

InternetNZ acknowledges the passage of the Harmful Digital Communications Bill into law this afternoon, and says that the sooner the education efforts at the heart of the legislation start, the better... More>>

ALSO:

3-Year Transport Plan: No Plans On Six Northland-Election Bridges

The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza Blockade: Māori TV Crew Returning Safely From Israel

A Māori Television crew will be flown back from Israel after their boat was detained by the Israeli Navy while attempting to break the Gaza blockade. More>>

ALSO:

Family Violence: Increasing Reporting But Fewer Resolutions

“We are aware the Police have embarked on a significant programme of change in how they respond to family violence. The data suggests that adequate resourcing including investing in staff training, support and culture change will be required for this to be effective.” More>>

ALSO:

Health: NZ Children Still Suffer Rickets From Lack Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency continues to cause rickets in young New Zealanders, new University of Otago research has found. The researchers say that their finding suggests that at-risk mothers and children should be better targeted for Vitamin D supplementation. More>>

Also GPs, Housing, Milk: PM Press Conference On The UN Security Council

In a press conference today the Prime Minister discussed the upcoming appointment of New Zealand to chair the UN Security Council. He said they would put pressure Asad in Syria and attempt to “jump start” negotiations between Israel and Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: State Houses Could Sell To Overseas Groups

Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

AND:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news