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National seeks inquiry into oceans plastic problem

National seeks inquiry into oceans plastic problem

National MP Scott Simpson has written to Parliament’s Environment Select Committee requesting it conduct an inquiry into the extent of plastic pollution in New Zealand’s oceans.

Mr Simpson says one of the primary purposes of an inquiry would be to identify the sources of plastic pollution in our oceans, and the steps needed to create solutions.

“This is a pressing issue affecting oceans around the globe and, with such an extensive EEZ surrounding New Zealand, it’s important we gain a thorough understanding of how the problem currently affects New Zealand’s waters, and how much worse it is projected to become.

“The recent Colmar Brunton Better Futures 2017 survey shows 63 per cent of New Zealanders are now concerned about build-up of plastic in the environment.

“Furthermore, British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April, oceans will be on the agenda.

“A Parliamentary inquiry will be useful to the Government, NGO’s, local government and citizens and will help ensure that New Zealand can be part of the global solution.

“We need to know how New Zealand’s oceans are affected by plastic, where the plastic is coming from, and what kind of plastic it is.

“I have today written to the Chair of the Environment Select Committee and look forward to her positive response,” Mr Simpson says.

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