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


WasteMINZ Press Release Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa NZ

WasteMINZ Press Release Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa NZ

Press Release

8 December 2019

Auckland, 8 December 2019: The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Juliet Gerrard, presented the 262-page report on ‘Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand’ to the Prime Minister on Sunday 8th December. Says Gerrard, “Most of our recommendations can be captured in a single phrase: ‘make best practice, standard practice’.”

In light of increasing public concern over the harmful effects of plastic pollution, and with a lack of comprehensive data on plastics, the government convened the project to chart a pathway forward for plastic in New Zealand. Led by Dr Rachel Chiaroni-Clarke from the Office of the PMCSA, it involved wide consultation and analysis of evidence and innovations from NZ and overseas.

The overall proposal is to establish a National Plastics Action Plan to achieve a futuristic vision where “Aotearoa New Zealand has maintained and enhanced its global image as a set of beautiful islands with a pristine environment, enhanced by the blend of stewardship principles of kaitiakitanga and systems and design thinking. We have a goal to be the first country to declare that it is no longer in the plastic age with a target date of 2050.”

WasteMINZ, NZ’s largest representative body of the waste minimisation, resource recovery and contaminated land sectors, is pleased to see the report articulating a national focus on many of the challenges and solutions that its members have been debating and creating in recent years.

Says newly-appointed Chair of the WasteMINZ board, Wayne Plummer, “There is much to agree with in this report. Our members have long since advocated for the consistency of a national rather than a regionalised approach, as well as consistency in the design, use and reuse of recyclable plastic to enable a circular outcome. We’re also critically aware that the industry and the nation as whole will benefit from clear data, information and education about our use of plastics, to engender and then measure the environmental impact of change.”

“While high level, I’m pleased to see that this report contains the practical implications of government strategies and initiatives for the waste minimisation industry and the New Zealand public alike,” he says.

WasteMINZ Chief Executive, Janine Brinsdon, agrees. “WasteMINZ’ sector groups and members, which include most of New Zealand’s councils along with recyclers, landfill operators and waste minimisation supporters, have been leading the charge against single-use plastic for some time. Our members have been instrumental in driving initiatives like Plastic Free July, research and clarification around compostable packaging, and today’s proposed ban on plastic fruit stickers, straws and cotton buds.”

It’s essential to remember, however, that not all plastic is bad, says Janine Brinsdon.

“Plastic plays a vital role in areas such as food preservation and safety. We share the vision in the report of restricting plastics to 1, 2 and 5, which have value and end markets for retaining in circulation for as long as possible. With our members involved at all levels in the business of plastics, it is now our priority to support every one of them through the roll-out of this wide-reaching plan towards a safe and healthy New Zealand.”

The National Plastics Action Plan include goals to:
- Improve plastics data collection by addressing key knowledge gaps across plastic use, reuse and disposal; monitoring litter via citizen science projects and incentivising manufacturers to label all plastics, all leading to a centralised national database

- Embed ‘rethinking plastics’ in the government agenda, driving best practice and alignment to the national plan through strong international connections; national initiatives like the Waste Minimisation Fund; teacher support and public awareness campaigns for education on all aspects of plastic, and industry agreements reaching for more sustainable plastic use

- Create and enable consistency in design, use and disposal through best practice guidance aligned with the Basel Convention, such as the mandating of product stewardship priority products, expanding the Waste Disposal Levy to all landfills and the rolling out the new Container Deposit Scheme

- Innovate and amplify the capacity to ‘reimagine’ plastics with innovation funding; multi-disciplinary thinking and approaches; community and citizen science initiatives, and building on innovative products and services that are already proving successful

- Mitigate the environmental and health impacts of plastic by building knowledge and data about leakage, preventative methodologies, and emerging challenges including microplastics and nanoplastics, with a longer term goal of standardising national recycling practices and encouraging life cycle assessment across the ‘6Rs’ (rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, replace) to keep plastic in circulation

Read the full ‘Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa NZ’ report here.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The America’s Cup, Critical Race Theory And A New, Weekly Music Playlist

So… Why don’t they just cut to the chase, and call it the Emirates Cup? As this column predicted several months ago, the next America’s Cup challenge is headed overseas. Here’s what Werewolf said back in March:
Emirates has made a major commitment to Portsmouth/Isle of Wight as a sailing centre of excellence – and voila, that’s where the next challenger of record is coming from, and where the next Cup contest could well be sailed. Such incredible luck for Emirates, right..? More>>


Marine: Wider Roll-out Of Cameras On Boats To Support Sustainability And Protect Marine Life

Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations... More>>


Government: Plan For Vaccine Rollout For General Population Announced

New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today... More>>


Jewish Council: New Zealand Not Immune From Rise In Antisemitism

The representative body of New Zealand Jewry, the NZ Jewish Council (NZJC), has expressed concern about the high number of antisemitic incidents in New Zealand recorded last month. Spokesperson for the NZJC, Juliet Moses, said... More>>

NZNO: Nurses Reject DHB Offer And Confirm Strike Action

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says its 30,000 members who work in DHBs have voted overwhelmingly to reject a second offer in their current round of multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) negotiations... More>>





InfoPages News Channels