Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Call for government to ban plastic drink bottles

Greenpeace is calling on the government to make New Zealand the first country in the world to ban plastic drink bottles.

Photo: 123rf

Greenpeace estimates New Zealand produces close to 1 billion single-use plastic bottles every year.

The environmental activism group launched its Ban the Bottle campaign this morning, which spokesperson Holly Dove said was the next logical step after the country outlawed banning single-use plastic bags.

Dove said a failing recycling and waste system meant a high proportion of this plastic waste finds its way into landfills and the sea.

"Single-use plastic is choking our wildlife, 90 percent of New Zealand seabirds have eaten plastic and birds like Toroa, Royal Albatross, are plucking it out of the ocean and feeding it to their young."

Single use plastics did not decompose but break down into smaller and smaller bits - micro-plastics - which were showing up in fish, Dove said.

"New Zealanders love the coastlines; trips to the beach, our sea life, and kai moana. It's part of our way of life, and plastic pollution threatens that."

Drinks companies continued to push the message that we could recycle our way out of our tidal wave of plastic waste, Dove said.

"The truth is we can't. The only real solution is to design waste out of the system, and cut the amount of plastic that we are producing.

"The coalition government made a great start with banning single-use plastic bags last year, but the job's not done. We need them to make sure that these companies stop bottling their products in single-use plastics, and start producing alternative options for their customers."

Dove said wine and alcohol was already sold in glass bottles and there was no reason why other beverage manufacturers could not do the same.

She said New Zealand was about to get a container return scheme, where you get some cash back for returned bottles, and it would be possible to set up refill, washing systems in regional areas, which would also provide employment.

"I think what we're trying to do is fix the problem that the drink manufacturing companies have created for themselves, so they need to be able to find ways to get their beverages to people that isn't going to cost the planet or cost human health."

Dove said recycling had been tried for the last 40 years but it was not enough.

Only about 9 percent of plastic globally was currently being recycled, with the rest ending up in landfills, in the ocean or being shipped to countries like Malaysia where it was incinerated which was detrimental to people's health, she said.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Media Collusion With National’s Attack Lines

For most of the past week, any consumer of this country’s management of Covid-19 would think New Zealand was actually Brazil, or Texas. The media language has been full of claims of “botches” at the border, and laxness and inexcusable errors ... More>>

Gregor Thompson: Don’t Be Too Pessimistic About New Zealand’s Future.

With the first hurdle hopped our Government will be turning its attention to trying to soften the economic damage this pandemic has on our little archipelago. More>>

Eric Zuesse: U.S. Empire: Biden And Kerry Gave Orders To Ukraine’s President

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Strategic Culture On May 19th, an implicit international political warning was issued, but it wasn’t issued between countries; it was issued between allied versus opposed factions within each of two countries: U.S. and Ukraine. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Budget Cockups In The Time Of Coronavirus: Reporting Errors And Australia’s JobKeeper Scheme

Hell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets. The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Welcome Deaths: Coronavirus And The Open Plan Office

For anybody familiar with that gruesome manifestation of the modern work place, namely the open plan office, the advent of coronavirus might be something of a relief. The prospects for infection in such spaces is simply too great. You are at risk from ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth. Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed. Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Brutal Choices: Anders Tegnell And Sweden’s Herd Immunity Goal

If the title of epidemiological czar were to be created, its first occupant would have to be Sweden’s Anders Tegnell. He has held sway in the face of sceptics and concern that his “herd immunity” approach to COVID-19 is a dangerous, and breathtakingly ... More>>