Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Proposed single use plastic bag ban welcomed

Monday 13 August 2018

Media release for immediate use

The Rubbish Trip welcomes proposed single use plastic bag ban and encourages further policy change to reduce waste

The Rubbish Trip welcomes the Government’s announcement that it plans to phase-out single use plastic bags by July 2019, and encourages the public to submit on the Government’s consultation to ensure that the phase-out is the best that it can be.

“Central government leadership on this issue is long overdue; it’s great they’ve finally responded meaningfully to the community groups, NGOs, individuals and businesses who’ve been campaigning on this issue for years”, says co-founder of The Rubbish Trip, Liam Prince.

The Rubbish Trip applauds the Associate Minister for the Environment, Eugenie Sage, and the Prime Minister not only for taking action, but also for acknowledging that this is only the first step in the long road towards reducing New Zealand’s growing waste problem, and signalling that there is more to come.

Shrewd observers will have noticed that the Government announced the coming ban on single use plastic bags without having to pass new law. This is because the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 already allows the Government to ban items like plastic bags and successive Governments have had this power for over ten years.

By the same token, the Act could be used to phase-out other single-use plastics with a similar impact on marine pollution, such as plastic straws and cutlery, cotton buds, and polystyrene takeaway containers. Such bans would follow in the footsteps of many Pacific Island states and the European Commission, among others.

“We’re heartened that this action indicates the current Government’s willingness to start using, finally, the Waste Minimisation Act 2008, which exists to help New Zealand address many of our mounting waste problems. This is a great piece of legislation with huge potential, so central government refusal to use it over the last ten years has been frustrating”, says Hannah Blumhardt, co-founder of The Rubbish Trip.

The leader of the opposition, Simon Bridges, dismissed the plastic bag ban by calling it “low-hanging fruit”.

“The plastic bag ban is undoubtedly low-hanging fruit, but we don’t see why that’s a problem. So long as this isn’t where the Government’s waste minimisation plans end, it’s a perfectly logical place to start”, says Prince.

In their presentations and workshops about how to reduce household waste, The Rubbish Trip recommend people make changes step by step, going for the easy changes that can be made first.

“Waste policy is arguably the same. So little has happened in New Zealand’s waste policy for decades, there’s now so much to do, but it makes sense to go for the easy things first and slowly build towards coherent national waste minimisation policy.” says Blumhardt.

Further low-hanging fruit policy changes that could be taken under the Waste Minimisation Act include introducing a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) to place a refundable deposit on beverage bottles and cans. This would address the littering of bottles and cans across the country, and lift New Zealand’s comparatively low recycling rates for these items. The Kiwi Bottle Drive campaign has been leading the call to introduce a CDS for some years.

Slightly higher, but nevertheless very important fruit, include increasing the Waste Disposal Levy to incentivise waste reduction and fund development of proper recycling infrastructure across the country. Another, to introduce Mandatory Product Stewardship schemes for problem waste streams, such as electronic waste and tyres, so that those who manufacture, sell and consume these products are responsible for addressing the waste they cause, rather than ratepayers and councils.

The Government’s proposal and consultation document can be found here.

For further information about how to survive without single use plastic bags and other wasteful items, check out resources on The Rubbish Trip website. Other great resources include www.rubbishfree.co.nz, Waste Free Living workshops with Kate Meads, and theZero Waste in NZ! Facebook group.

To learn more about what further policy changes could be made to reduce waste, visit The Kiwi Bottle Drive and New Zealand Product Stewardship Council websites.

*** ENDS ***

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Simon Bridges: National Leak Inquiry Points To Jami-Lee Ross

John Billington QC has independently assessed the investigation report. It is his opinion that on the balance of probabilities the evidence establishes that Jami-Lee Ross was the person who leaked the expenses and the sender of the text message.

I accept both the investigation report and the opinion of Mr Billington.

Earlier today I visited Jami-Lee Ross with Paula Bennett and explained to him the report and the opinion of Mr Billington and gave him an opportunity to respond. I was not satisfied with his explanation. More>>


New Hager Investigation: War Crimes, Sexual Assaults And Coverups In Armed Forces

A string of current and ex-New Zealand Defence Force staff have contacted Hager since the book he co-authored with Jon Stephenson – Hit & Run – was published in March 2017... More>>


Israel's Anti-Boycott Law: NZ Activists Fined Over Lorde Cancellation Raise $12k For Charity

New Zealand activists being fined in Israel for urging pop singer Lorde to cancel her concert have raised more than $12,000 for a Palestinian charity. More>>


NZEI: Teacher Shortage Plan Falls Short

NZEI Te Riu Roa has welcomed the Government's announcement of new initiatives to address the growing teacher shortage, but says teaching must become a sustainable career choice if there is to be a long-term solution… More>>


New Study: Women’s Refuge Examines Reproductive Coercion In NZ

While some research on reproductive coercion has been undertaken in other countries, like the United States, to date there has not been a comprehensive study of reproductive coercion in New Zealand – making this study a first of its kind. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Govt’s Feeble Response To Loan Sharks

The coalition government’s attempts to minimise the harm done by loan sharks comes nearly 12 years after a major report in 2007 had identified how fringe lenders were aggressively targeting low-income Pacific Island and Maori communities. As that study had found, only 43% of those accessing loan sharks were, at the time, in paid employment. More>>


Sewer Drug Tests: Wastewater Testing To Roll Out Nationally

Testing will be rolled out to 38 sites across the 12 Police districts this month and will capture 80% of New Zealand’s population. Police Commissioner Mike Bush says wastewater testing is crucial to Police’s understanding of drug consumption in our communities. More>>


Four Stood Down: Two Probes Into Police Trainees Are Criminal Investigations

Two of the four investigations into trainee police over claims of misconduct are criminal investigations, the Police College training manager says. More>>


Earthquake Claims: One Stop Shop Launched

The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service... will provide independent case management to bring together fast tracked claims handling, specialist engineering support, psychosocial support, and legal expertise to help resolve claims. More>>





InfoPages News Channels