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Waste Plans A Win For Employment, Climate And Environment

“We are absolutely thrilled with the government’s announcement that it will invest in recycling and change the waste levy. These are bold and important steps that will create employment in communities right throughout the country, reduce emissions and address the crisis in plastic waste and food wastes,” said Marty Hoffart, chairperson of the Zero Waste Network Aotearoa.

“People across the country know that recycling is not working. The $124 million investment will build onshore capacity for real recycling. We don’t want to see more recycling going to landfills and don’t want it shipped offshore to pollute other places. In the age of climate change and Covid-19, we have to urgently build our own systems to deal with the valuable resources that we currently call ‘waste’. When we do this, we create employment and innovation.”

“Reuse and recycling are major job creators; they provide opportunities to use materials and build community resilience to change. Resource recovery is the future. Landfilling and offshoring waste are not.”

“The changes to the Waste Levy are smart and essential to creating a real pathway towards the circular economy. We cannot go on with the ‘take-make-waste’ linear way of business anymore. We have to get smarter with valuable resources - and with our environment and climate that bear the brunt of landfilling. The waste levy will allow us to create the wider infrastructure across the country.”

“We have over 100 members in every region of the country. These are vital hubs and projects in their community supported by the waste levy: Wānaka Wastebusters, Xtreme Zero Waste (Raglan), the Seagull Centre in Thames, the Waiheke Resources Trust, Para Kore, Pacific Vision Aotearoa, South Waikato Achievement Trust and dozens of others.”

“Waste accounts for 4% of New Zealand’s emissions - much of which comes from food waste in landfills. Dealing with this as a resource provides us a perfect opportunity to address several issues: climate mitigation, food security, soil health and community employment. Changes to the waste levy will allow us to do this.”

“We appreciate the leadership and motivation of the Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage in advancing a serious waste agenda. New Zealanders register plastic waste as their number one environmental concern, and what she is doing will mean that the right structures are created to deal with it over the long term.”

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