More than 500 Plastic-filled parcels mailed to MPs
More than 500 letters and parcels filled with nonrecyclable single-use plastics have now been mailed to MPs in Parliament via freepost.
This week alone, the plastic2parliament initiative mailed over 130 plastic-stuffed letters to NZ First MP Jenny Marcroft to ask if her Party has a single-use plastic reduction policy.
“Plastic waste is essentially environmental change in solid form,” said Wade Bishop, initiator of plastic2parliament.
The plastic2parliament initiative encourages the public to include non-recyclable plastics in their mail to MPs to illustrate the problem.
“The problem with these plastics is that once they’re in the environment they don’t go away but continue to break down into smaller and smaller particles.” Wade Bishop said.
The letters ask MPs to support the Product Stewardship changes to the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 (WMA) proposed by the Government which includes many categories of plastic packaging but also ask for bans of avoidable plastics and for all political Parties to have a plastic-waste reduction policy.
“Plastics are now in our water, our air, our food and we now eat about a credit cards worth or more every year. There’s plenty of research making its way into media about endocrine disrupting chemicals in plastic packaging and most recently to type 2 diabetes in research out of Australia.” Mr. Bishop said. “One could say that the cost of over-production of plastics is more than just the economics of dealing with the waste alone.” (Ref. sciencedirect.com; and baker.edu.au)
Plastic2parliament is encouraging citizens concerned about the growing epidemic of avoidable and single-use packaging plastics to engage in penning letters to MPs in Parliament via the Parliamentary Freepost address. The initiative asks politicians to focus regulation on the producers of plastic packaging, while urging the public to stuff their large envelopes full of nonrecyclable plastics to make the point.
The plastic2parliament initiative continues to grow quickly with membership numbers of the Facebook Group now more than 900 people since the initiative began in early October.
“People are tired of plastic pollution being framed as a consumer issue, or one that is simply a matter of better collection and recycling.” Wade Bishop said.
“The fact is, it’s more about unfettered production of higher and higher volumes of single-use plastics. It’s a production issue driven by the economic benefits of cheap plastics, which are cheap only because the true lifetime cost of those plastics is not currently carried by those producers.”
The global oil industry is investing US$180 billion in new plastic production plants, over this coming 10 years, with the aim to increase production by 40% from the 348 million tonnes per year presently. Some estimates suggest that plastic waste volumes will quadruple by 2050. (Ref. theguardian.com; and sciencemag.org)
“We already know that plastic waste and pollution is an enormous problem here in New Zealand, and globally. The current investments to increase plastic production exponentially in the face of the problems we already see is criminal. It’s foolish to think that New Zealand will not experience a massive increase in plastics given this mounting global supply pressure.” Mr Bishop said.