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Work on waste underway

A new report out today shows that the Government is on the right track to tackle our waste problem, Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage says.

The Sustainable Business Network today released its report - New Zealand’s Plastic Packaging System 2018 An Initial Circular Economy Diagnosis.

“SBN’s report is an excellent addition to the public discussion and growing awareness of New Zealand’s waste challenges,” Eugenie Sage said.

“Work is already underway on a number of the recommendations the report identifies for the Government to lead on. This includes work we are doing to collect accurate data, expand the waste levy, and invest in on-shore recycling facilities. The Waste Minimisation Fund is available to support projects to deal with plastic waste including creating packaging alternatives.

“Economic Development Minister David Parker is leading work on a Government procurement programme.

“The SBN report highlights the gains from a circular economy approach. I look forward to Government and businesses working together and further constructive initiatives like the report.

“Manufacturers, retailers, the resource recovery sector, councils and consumers all have key roles to play and Government leadership is required. We need a fundamentally different approach where we design waste out of our economic system by adopting a circular economy approach.

“This includes designing products for a long life and which are also easily able to be repaired and renewed, or designing them to be easily ‘unmade’ at the end of their life and their materials recovered and either made into something new, or returned to nature.

“We need manufacturers to be doing much more, faster and manufacturers, retailers and consumers to drive change up the supply chain.

“Earlier this year I announced a work programme to tackle our wider waste issues, which includes expanding the waste disposal levy to all landfills, improving our national data on waste and resource recovery, investing more strategically in infrastructure and innovation to support resource recovery and onshore processing of recovered materials. The Ministry for the Environment is developing a circular economy strategy identifying sectors to target investment.”

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