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

 

Government’s 40m boost to recycling must be backed by reform

This morning, Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage, announced that the Government will allocate $40 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to recycling projects and infrastructure in the regions.

The Minister explained that with China shutting its doors to the world’s recyclable waste, New Zealand can no longer continue shipping our recycling away. Instead, we must increase our capacity to deal with it onshore by investing in more processing plants that can take our recyclable waste, particularly plastic waste, and convert it into new products and materials.

However, the New Zealand Product Stewardship Council says that investing money in processing plants is only one part of the picture; without supporting policy to back up this investment, New Zealanders will not be getting the biggest bang for their buck.

“It’s certainly true that New Zealand needs more onshore processing capacity for our recyclable waste. However, to close the loop and ensure the new infrastructure operates to its fullest potential, the Government needs to implement policies to get these materials to the recycling plants, otherwise we won’t get the most out of this use of public funding”, says Hannah Blumhardt, Coordinator of the New Zealand Product Stewardship Council.

How can the Government do that? “By using the regulatory powers available for over a decade under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 to implement mandatory, nationwide product stewardship programmes that would improve the collection rates of recyclable waste streams and minimise contamination”, says Blumhardt.

One example of such policy would be a nationwide container deposit scheme for beverage containers, a policy currently being considered by the Environment Select Committee, but which successive Governments have avoided for decades.

“Under the previous government, Flight Plastics in Lower Hutt received public funding to build New Zealand’s first PET wash plant. The plant has capacity to take all of the clear PET plastic bottles and punnets used in New Zealand, and more. However, it currently operates well below capacity because so many bottles end up in rubbish bins rather than recycling bins. It’s no coincidence that Flight Plastics supports a container deposit scheme, given it would boost recovery rates” says Blumhardt.

Another policy would be to build the cost of recycling into the purchase price of products like tyres and electronics so that those products get taken to recyclers at the end of their life.

“Investing public money without introducing supporting policies is a backwards approach to funding - some of these policies, like upfront recycling fees, would boost recovery rates of recyclable material so much that industry could actually be incentivised to invest in the processing plants themselves” says Brent Aitken of the New Zealand Product Stewardship Council.

To date, not a single mandatory product stewardship scheme has been implemented under the Waste Minimisation Act since it was passed in 2008. The Council argues that continued reluctance to use the Act will mean New Zealand will struggle to reverse its poor track record on waste.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Tourism’s Endless Sense Of Grievance

Sad that a once in a century pandemic should have come along before the government had a clearly thought out plan for rescuing all the firms and saving all the jobs in the tourism sector. Sad that the government now looks like it was making up the criteria for support as it went along. But guess what? To some extent, they were. Possibly because in the modern era, a pandemic had never before caused international travel to evaporate almost overnight... More>>

 

PREFU: Economy Doing Better Than Forecast

The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update released today shows that the near-term economic recovery has been stronger than the Treasury and many economists predicted at the May Budget, as the economy bounced back strongly out of lockdown... More>>

ALSO:


PM Statement: Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level Review

Takiri mai te ata, ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea, tihei mauriora! Tātou katoa ngā iwi o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou! Tēnā tātou e whakanuia ana i te wiki nei, te wiki o te reo Māori Greeting to you all from Otepoti, Dunedin. This week is the Māori ... More>>

ALSO:

Greens: $297m Fund To Support Sustainable Food And Farming

The Green Party has released its Farming for the Future Plan, including a $297m fund to support farmers and growers to transition to climate-friendly practices. The plan will: · Improve how we look after our land and water, with a levy on the ... More>>

ALSO:

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>

ALSO:

NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>

Election: Arriving Travellers In Isolation To Be Able To Vote By Telephone

Up to 5,000 people in managed isolation or quarantine will be able to vote by telephone in the general election and referendums after an amendment to electoral regulations last week. Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright says the Electoral Commission sought ... More>>

National: Investing In Our Children’s Future

A National Government will prioritise lifting achievement for all New Zealand children, no matter their background or ability, National Party Leader Judith Collins and National’s Education spokesperson Nicola Willis say. “Parents just want what’s best for ... More>>

Police: Numerous Arrests Following Investigation Into Historical Offending At Auckland School

Detective Senior Sergeant Geoff Baber, Auckland City Police: Police have made six arrests as part of an operation investigating historical offending at Dilworth School. Auckland City Criminal Investigation Branch have been investigating since a complaint ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels