Failure to Support Environmental Initiative
National Governments failure to support successful environmental initiative dooms it
October 21, 2009
The GetReal Campaign team and anti-plastic bag campaigners throughout the country are not surprised by the news that Foodstuffs South Island is withdrawing their plastic bag charging policy.
Despite the huge 65% reduction in plastic bag usage in Foodstuffs supermarkets, there has been no clear signal of support or promotion from the National Government.
Angus Ho said today:
"Foodstuffs tried their hardest in a very tough business environment. The charge proved effective in changing consumer behavior, but Foodstuffs were not strong enough to stand up to a small number of loud protesters."
"In our surveys we have found more than half of the population see a charge as a positive thing. This proves that if we want change, it has to come from Government."
“Businesses taking responsibility for the environment are vulnerable when their competitor like Progressive externalize their environmental costs, and get cost advantage. We need a level playing field.”
Mr Ho has seen change on this issue in his native Hong Kong and believes the National Government is not accuratly reading public opinion in this issue and needs to exercise the policy tools at its disposal.
“Most New Zealanders care about our environment and our future generations and are happy to take their own reusable bag or pay” said Angus Ho
GetReal supporter Sue Coutts of Wanaka Wastebusters said this morning.
“We do not expect a single company to bring the charge back because it is vulnerable to small proportion of the public holding them to ransom, and unscrpulous competitors. We are therefore doomed to plastic bags blocking our streams and littering our roadsides."
"We have the Waste Minimization Act now, Minster Nick Smith should put packaging and plastic bag onto the priority list of the Product Stewardship Scheme.” she said